Pressure on Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam has been mounting, with signs emerging that she may delay an unpopular extradition bill that has drawn hundreds of thousands of people into the streets in protest.
During the three-hour rally, the group chanted slogans demanding Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor step down and the government retract the bill, which would allow the transfer of suspects to jurisdictions the city does not have extradition arrangements with, such as mainland China.
"AmCham is relieved by the government decision to suspend the extradition bill and that it listened to the Hong Kong people and worldwide business community", said Tara Joseph, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
On Wednesday, the worldwide finance hub was rocked by the worst political violence since before its 1997 handover, as riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.
"The GCC Board of Directors believes that, going forward, the Government of Hong Kong should invite legal, business and other bodies to engage in a comprehensive and in-depth consultation process on the proposed Extradition Bill, to ensure that due consideration is given to all interest groups, that the legislation is consistent with Hong Kong's robust legal system and rule of law standards, and that the long-term interests and reputation of Hong Kong are protected", they said.
Lam's decision "will certainly ease tensions of the general public a lot", Felix Chung, who represents the textile and garments industries as a pro-establishment member of Hong Kong's legislature, said in a phone interview.
China's embassy in Ottawa has fired back at Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland for a statement she issued about protests in Hong Kong, sparked by the local government's proposed changes to extradition law.
Under the extradition law amendment, any country - including China - could request the extradition of an individual to their home country from Hong Kong for trial.
On Thursday, Hong Kong Police Commissioner Steven Lo Wai-chung said officers had "no choice" but to escalate the use of force.
"Hong Kong people have been lied to so many times", said Bonny Leung, a leader of the Civil Human Rights Front, one of the groups that has helped drive the demonstrations.
More than 80 people were injured including about 20 police, and at least 11 protesters have been arrested.
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"The bill has caused a lot of division in society", she told a press conference, referring to "doubts and misunderstanding".
On Friday, police kept a close watch as the city returned to normal, with most protesters retreating and banks re-opening.
"It's possible there might be even worse confrontations that might be replaced by very serious injuries to my police colleagues and the public", she said.
Sing Tao newspaper reported that China's top official overseeing Hong Kong policy, Vice Premier Han Zheng, met Lam in Shenzhen in recent days.
Thousands of mostly-young protesters shut down Hong Kong's Legislative Council complex and paralyzed parts of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory on Wednesday.
Tien, a member of the pro-Beijing camp, said he supported a suspension of the bill without a timetable. It would have destroyed any sense of autonomy in Hong Kong; anyone who didn't toe Xi Jingping's line would have found themselves on the fast train to Beijing, pour encourager les autres.
Until Saturday's announcement, Ms Lam had not spoken publicly since she labelled the protests "organised riots" during a tearful address. In addition to opposing the bill they would also be calling for accountability of the police for the way protests have been handled.
For now, that's mostly grandstanding-and it's far from clear the impetus for extradition bill originated in Beijing. They plan another big protest for Sunday. "The Hong Kong government simply can not be trusted".
Protests died down late in the week after clashes with police that turned violent on Wednesday.
Before her retirement, Chan headed Hong Kong's civil service under the former British colonial administration and the Chinese-installed leadership that succeeded it in 1997.