China may be trying to siege full control of Hong Kong, but the US is not allowing it to happen without consequences. President Trump and Secretary Mike Pompeo’s continuous threats of sanctions against China have finally become reality after Beijing refused to back down.
On Tuesday, Trump announced at a press conference in the Rose Garden that he has signed legislation as well as an executive order “to hold China accountable for its oppressive actions against the people of Hong Kong,” ending the territory’s special treatment.
The president spoke about the US’ hardline stance now that the territory is no longer a sovereign democracy separate from China. Trump described that Hong Kong only received preferential treatment as a “gift to freedom.” However, since they are now no longer free, they will be treated the same as mainland China. He specified, “No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies.”
On the same day, Trump also signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act from Congress, which received bipartisan support in the House. The restrictive law penalizes banks for doing business with any Chinese official that implements the CCP’s new “security laws.”
China promised to retaliate against the US for adding sanctions and stripping Hong Kong’s special status. According to Reuters, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they will be implementing similar measures against American individuals and businesses. The Chinese foreign ministry reportedly responded to the bill restricting banks, stating, “Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no foreign country has the right to interfere.”
In what sounds like a veiled threat, they also said, “We urge the US side to correct its mistakes, not to enforce the so-called ‘Hong Kong Autonomy Act,’ and stop interfering in Hong Kong and other internal affairs of China in any way… If the U.S. side insists on going in the wrong direction, China will respond resolutely.”
Unfortunately, this has grave implications for the US-China trade deal, which could adversely affect our already fragile economic recovery.
When asked about speaking with President Xi, Trump told CBS news, “I’m not interested right now in talking to China,” he continued, “We made a great trade deal, but as soon as the deal was done, the ink wasn’t even dry and they hit us with the plague. So right now, I’m not interested in talking to China about another deal,” he continued before adding, “I’m interested in doing other things with China,” Trump told the network.
Although this could negatively impact America’s economy, there are many blessings in disguise here. For one, we still don’t know what the origins of the coronavirus were and we don’t know what China’s intentions were in hiding crucial information from us and the rest of the world. If the CCP purposely let the virus get out, we have FAR bigger problems than a trade deal. The last thing we would want is a trade agreement with our potentially worst adversary. Plus, by standing for Hong Kong, we stand for freedom worldwide in showing other countries that commit vast human rights violations, like Saudi Arabia, that the same could happen to them.
Besides the fact that it is economically advantageous to uphold values that can only exist in a free society such as free market capitalism, Trump’s Hong Kong stance is simply the right thing to do if we believe in liberty for all people. As Americans, it is only right that we put our money where our mouth is and not support leaders whose values do not align with ours. We should not continue to do business with a country like China who puts their marginalized populations in concentration camps, rampantly aborts babies, refuses religious liberty to their people, and does nothing to contain a contagious virus that took thousands of lives worldwide. It is only right that we cut ties.