More than a million people - approximately one-seventh of the city's population - took part in relatively peaceful protests last weekend.
China's foreign ministry said Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned Robert Forden, the USA embassy's deputy chief of mission, on Friday. "What really affects Hong Kong's business confidence and worldwide reputation is not the amendment of the ordinance, but those acts of violence, which have been incited by external forces and damage social peace and disregard the law", reads the Chinese government's statement. "The Chinese government is always saying one thing but doing another", Feng said. "China will watch the USA side's actions and further respond", he added, without elaborating.
"You have probably noticed that some Western countries have repeatedly made irresponsible statements about amendments to the extradition law, which are being discussed in Hong Kong".
"We urge Congress to revoke the USA citizenships and visas of the Hong Kong and China officials who are in support of this bill", the petition said.
"Relevant people in the United States [should] abandon the illusion of attempting to mess up Hong Kong", Mr Geng said.
Her mission as chief executive, she said, was to defend Hong Kong's cherished "one country, two systems" principal and that she would serve "as a bridge" between Hong Kong and the mainland. "However, if the legal system in China is able to extend itself into Hong Kong. that is where they have a problem. I have never seen such an evil-hearted mother", Cheung continued, mocking Lam's comment in an interview on Wednesday that she sees herself as the stern mother of Hong Kong's misbehaving youth.
The officials argued it was unwise to trigger more tensions with the public following protests Wednesday that turned violent. Still more protests were planned for Sunday and Monday.
Chinese state media characterises the demonstrations in Hong Kong as a "riot" and accusing protesters of "violent acts".
Professor Tung Li-wen of the Asia-Pacific Elite Interchange Association said the atmosphere in Taiwan feels something like that in Hong Kong on the eve of the 1997 handover to Chinese rule.
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Media outlets, including the South China Morning Post, public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong and pro-Beijing Sing Tao newspaper, reported that Lam will hold a press conference to announce her plans on Saturday afternoon.
It was the murder of a Hong Kong woman at the hands of her boyfriend while they were on holiday in Taiwan previous year that promoted Hong Kong authorities to call for an extradition law.
Chung, the Hong Kong pro-establishment lawmaker, said opponents of the bill were exaggerating its pitfalls and protections were added to safeguard against misuse. The fears of the mainland have been fuelled by several Beijing-tainted cases in recent years, including the clandestine detention of five Hong Kong booksellers on the mainland and the suspected abduction of a Chinese tycoon in Hong Kong by mainland agents.
It said Le urged Washington to take no actions that harm Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, the ministry said in a statement.
However, police used force to quell protests on Wednesday that blockaded Hong Kong's legislature, resulting in numerous arrests and injuries. Protests that continued through the week were met with tear gas, bean bag rounds and rubber bullets from police, plunging the city into turmoil and piling heavy pressure on Lam.
One of the petitions, posted on Change.org, had almost 28,000 signatures.
The amendments would allow for criminal suspects to be transferred to mainland China for trial, and some in the semi-autonomous territory fear increased control by the mainland over human rights and free speech.
As mass protests in Hong Kong grab headlines around the world, expatriate Canadians living in the former British colony say the demonstrations have been intense - and are raising fresh concerns about the territory's future.
But with another major protest planned for Sunday, and huge global interest in the confrontation on Hong Kong's streets, Lam and officials in Beijing appear to have decided the political cost of temporary retreat would be less than that of further confrontation.