Hawks Putting Intense Pressure on Trump To ‘Get Tough’ with China on Hong Kong
Aug. 16, 2019 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump is under attack for not defending the so-called “peaceful demonstrations by peace-loving citizens of Hong Kong” against Beijing. The New York Times and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post published similar stories Aug. 15, pointing to Trump’s so-called “political isolation” from his top White House advisers, the State Department and European allies for failing to denounce alleged Chinese “authoritarian” repression of the Hong Kong protesters.
The Times references two anonymous high administration officials, who complained that Trump is not paying attention to his “top foreign policy advisers,” key among them China hawk John Bolton, who “have pressed him to take a more forceful public stand on Hong Kong as the pro-democracy protests have escalated.” Trump, the Times authors lament, has “conspicuously avoided” the tough language used by Bolton and others. Worse, Trump’s language “shows little connection to his administration’s stated intolerance for China’s political repression.” Perhaps, the authors intone, he’s forgotten the December 2017 national security strategy document, which labels China a “strategic competitor?”
The Times also complains that the President is far too friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, they allege, is also repressing “pro-democracy” protesters in Moscow.
The South China Morning Post provides details of the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” introduced in Congress by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA). Originally presented as an amendment in 2016, it would require the White House to perform an annual review to determine whether Hong Kong’s special trade status can be justified. The special status allows Hong Kong to be recognized as a separate customs territory to mainland China. Hong Kong, the bill demands, “must remain sufficiently autonomous from the People’s Republic of China to justify a different treatment under a particular law of the United States, or any provision thereof, from that accorded to the People’s Republic of China.”
The “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong the bill insists on includes open and free elections by 2020 for Legislative Council members and the free nomination and election of the city’s Chief Executive, who otherwise is considered to be just a “puppet” of Beijing. The bill envisions sanctions against those considered to be responsible for the “arbitrary detention or abuse” of individuals from Hong Kong. McGovern is also demanding the U.S. to