Politics: Trump’s Hong Kong Caution Isolates Him From Congress, Allies and Advisers - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsTrump’s Hong Kong Caution Isolates Him From Congress, Allies and Advisers

05:55  16 august  2019
05:55  16 august  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

U.S. Issues Travel Warning to Hong Kong Due to ‘Confrontational’ Protests

U.S. Issues Travel Warning to Hong Kong Due to ‘Confrontational’ Protests The United States on Wednesday issued an advisory warning people about traveling to Hong Kong, urging visitors to “exercise increased caution” because of “confrontational” protests in the semiautonomous Chinese territory. The alert by the State Department comes two days after a general strike and widespread demonstrations shook the city, and as Chinese officials have warned about the continuing unrest. “Since June 2019, several large scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong,” the advisory warned. “Most have been peaceful, but some have turned confrontational or resulted in violent clashes.

Critics and allies said President Trump ’ s relative disinterest in human rights and focus on economics have kept him from taking sides between China President Trump took no strong position on the pro-democracy demonstrations that have gripped Hong Kong for weeks.CreditCreditLam Yik Fei for The

Trump did alert one key ally two days ahead of the announcement: Israeli Prime Minister It reflected deep unease among national security experts and advisers about the decision to abruptly withdraw If administration officials and Trump ' s allies in Congress were distressed by the decision, however

Trump’s Hong Kong Caution Isolates Him From Congress, Allies and Advisers© Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times President Trump complimented China’s president on Thursday while speaking to reporters, offering no words of support for the goals of protesters in Hong Kong.

Correction: August 15, 2019

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the state that Senator Lindsey Graham represents. It is South Carolina, not North Carolina.

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s cautious distance from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has left him politically isolated from both parties in Congress, the State Department, European allies and his most hawkish advisers at the White House.

China rejects US Navy request for Hong Kong port visits amid protests

China rejects US Navy request for Hong Kong port visits amid protests Amid ongoing unrest in Hong Kong, Chinese officials have rejected a US request to have two US Navy ships make port visits there in the coming weeks. "The Chinese Government denied requests for port visits to Hong Kong by the USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie, which were scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks," Cmdr. Nate Christensen, the deputy spokesman for the US Navy's Pacific Fleet, told CNN in a statement on Tuesday. The amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay was scheduled to visit Hong Kong on August 17 and the guided missile-cruiser USS Lake Erie was scheduled to visit next month.

Get the latest news on Hong Kong protests from RT, including breaking updates and live feeds. Learn more about possible meddling in the Hong Kong protests on RT. Finally, don’t miss experts’ US President Donald Trump has proposed a summit with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, in order

Trump has so far stayed relatively blasé about the Asian crisis, telling reporters on Tuesday: “The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation. The president’ s comments regarding Hong Kong have been mild compared with how harsh he has been on the Chinese when it comes to striking a trade deal.

Despite ringing declarations of support for the protesters from leading Democrats and Republicans as well as European officials, Mr. Trump has shown little sympathy for the mass demonstrations against China’s encroaching political influence on the former British colony. And in his almost-singular focus on his showdown with Beijing over trade and tariffs, Mr. Trump is ignoring the view of his conservative advisers, who believe that China’s authoritarian model threatens American interests worldwide.

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Speaking to reporters as he headed to a campaign event on Thursday, Mr. Trump was complimentary toward China’s president, Xi Jinping. “I really have a lot of confidence in President Xi,” Mr. Trump said, predicting that if the Chinese leader met with protest leaders, “things could be worked out pretty easily.” Mr. Trump offered no words of support for the goals of the protesters, which include preventing China’s repressive political system from subsuming Hong Kong’s open society.

Hong Kong Protests Drive Surge in Telegram Chat App

Hong Kong Protests Drive Surge in Telegram Chat App First-time users of Telegram surged in Hong Kong after protesters flocked to the popular chat app during the months-long demonstrations that gripped the city, new data from Sensor Tower shows. Telegram gained about 110,000 new users in Hong Kong in July across the Apple App Store and Google Play. First-time installs more than quadrupled, pushing the app to the city’s seventh-most downloaded last month from No. 88 a year earlier, the mobile data provider said. In total, Telegram has been installed 1.7 million times in Hong Kong and 365 million globally.

Trump , who has been seeking a major deal to correct trade imbalances with China, has faced criticism from Congress and elsewhere for not taking a stronger public line on Earlier on Wednesday, the State Department issued a travel advisory urging “increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest.”

WATCH ABOVE: Trump 'hopes everything works out' in Hong Kong 'including for China'. While Trump has been reticent to take sides, some Republican and Democratic members of Congress The demonstrations are against what many Hong Kong residents see as an increasing erosion of the

Two senior administration officials said top foreign policy advisers to Mr. Trump have pressed him to take a more forceful public stand on Hong Kong as the pro-democracy protests have escalated, along with police violence against them. One tough internal critic of China’s government is Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, who in an interview on Wednesday with Voice of America used far stronger language than Mr. Trump has about the protests.

“The Chinese have to look very carefully at the steps they take, because people in America remember Tiananmen Square, they remember the picture of the man standing in front of the tanks,” Mr. Bolton said, referring to the 1989 demonstrations that China’s government brutally repressed, killing hundreds of unarmed people. “It would be a big mistake to create a new memory like that in Hong Kong,” Mr. Bolton added.

The State Department, also using language tougher than the president’s, issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was “staunch in our support for freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly in Hong Kong,” sympathetically noting the protesters’ “broad concerns about the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

Trump, Trudeau discussed developments in Hong Kong, Canadians held in China

Trump, Trudeau discussed developments in Hong Kong, Canadians held in China U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the Hong Kong protests and the ongoing detention of two Canadians by the Chinese government, a statement from Trudeau's office said on Friday. © Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST U.S. President Trump meets with Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau at the White House in Washington The Hong Kong protests started as a peaceful rebuke of the government in April but have evolved into a direct challenge to Communist Party rule over this former British colony.

Donald Trump ’ s top aides are urging him to back Hong Kong ’s pro-democracy protesters, but the president isn’t interested, multiple people familiar with the administration’s internal debates say. In recent days, national security adviser John Bolton

Trump also praised Chinese President Xi Jinping, calling him a "great leader" and saying he could quickly resolve the unrest in Hong Kong if he wanted to. He has urged the two sides to exercise caution and voiced hopes that the situation will be resolved peacefully.

Mr. Trump has conspicuously avoided that kind of language as he seeks to negotiate a trade agreement with Beijing. On Twitter and in comments this week, he has sounded ambivalent about the Hong Kong unrest, saying that he hopes “it works out for everybody, including China.”

Mr. Trump has also shown sympathy for Mr. Xi. In a tweet on Thursday, he called the Chinese president “a great leader who very much has the respect of his people,” who can bring the Hong Kong crisis to a “happy and enlightened ending.” To many of the Hong Kong protesters, Mr. Xi is an untrustworthy tyrant determined to squelch their political freedom.

Mr. Trump’s speech is also in sharp contrast to the words of Republicans and Democrats, who are warning Mr. Xi of grave consequences, including congressional action, should he order a bloody 1989-style crackdown. Fears of such a response grew this week after images circulated online of a buildup of Chinese military forces near Hong Kong, which Beijing says is part of a long-planned exercise.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who often advises Mr. Trump on foreign policy, tweeted on Tuesday that “30 years after Tiananmen Square all Americans stand with the peaceful protesters in Hong Kong.’’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, said in a statement that the protesters “have inspired the world with the courage and determination with which they are fighting for the freedom, justice and true autonomy that they were promised.”

HK activists, Beijing supporters demonstrate in London

HK activists, Beijing supporters demonstrate in London Demonstrators backing the democracy activists in Hong Kong marched in London on Saturday, as counter-protesters staged a rival rally. 

"The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation," Trump told reporters on his way to Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Pelosi also promised to begin drafting legislation that penalizes any Chinese officials who interfere with the movement for Hong Kong ' s autonomy when Congress returns in September.

The already tense situation at Hong Kong international airport became outright chaotic as Chinese riot police clashed with protesters blocking outgoing flights, with reporters and travelers among the injured. Police officer had his baton taken from him and was attacked with it.

Similar messaging has come from European allies. “I do support them, and I will happily speak up for them and back them every inch of the way,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain said last month of the protesters, arguing that China must honor Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Mr. Trump’s language shows little connection to his administration’s stated intolerance for China’s political repression. An official national security strategy that the Trump White House released in December 2017 declared Beijing to be a strategic competitor whose political system must be confronted along with its economic and military strength. The document quotes Mr. Trump as saying that the United States will “raise our competitive game” to “protect American interests and to advance our values.”

The drama in Hong Kong is only the latest example of Mr. Trump’s disinclination to let human rights and democracy complicate his diplomacy. He has taken no position on recent mass protests in the streets of Moscow, which have constituted the most open challenge in years to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, with whom Mr. Trump has a friendly relationship. Mr. Trump also rarely criticizes the repressive practices of several other governments with which he has forged close alliances, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Poland.

Twitter, Facebook: China used platforms against Hong Kong protests

Twitter, Facebook: China used platforms against Hong Kong protests Twitter and Facebook on Monday said they uncovered campaigns by China to use the social media platforms against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Facebook said in a separate post that a tip from Twitter led to the removal of Facebook pages, groups and accounts involved in "coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a small network that originated in China and focused on Hong Kong." Read More

Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!” Trump also praised Chinese President Xi Jinping “I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong While Trump has been reticent to take sides, some Republican and Democratic members of Congress

HONG KONG — For more than half a century, Asia has benefited from an American commitment to free trade and bilateral alliances in the region. But the election of Donald J. Trump left both statesmen and citizens here asking whether that commitment — and the prolonged era of peace and prosperity

The crisis in Hong Kong has cast a particularly bright spotlight on the role of western democratic values at a moment when authoritarian politics are on the rise across the globe. Mr. Trump’s critics call this a vital moment to reassert American leadership.

“If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out elsewhere,” Ms. Pelosi said in her statement.

“Our democratic allies are looking to us for leadership,” said Daniel Kliman, a former Pentagon official and director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.

Mr. Trump’s defenders say he has good reason to tread carefully. One is that Mr. Trump has limited tools for backing up any tough words; it is unthinkable that the United States military would come to the protesters’ rescue.

Another is that China’s government has openly accused the United States of instigating the protests as part of a covert regime change strategy, and support from the White House could play into Beijing’s narrative. The Chinese state news service Xinhua reported on Thursday that China’s Foreign Ministry office in Hong Kong had condemned “certain U.S. politicians for colluding with the extremist and violent offenders” there.

“Western leaders have a fine line to walk: supporting the democratic aims of Hong Kong protesters without feeding paranoia in Beijing that the demonstrations are a foreign conspiracy to divide and weaken China,” said Jessica Chen Weiss, a China scholar and professor at Cornell University. “As for Trump, his actions speak louder than his words.”

President Barack Obama faced similar concerns in June 2009 after a wave of pro-democracy uprisings emerged in Iran. Mr. Obama was relatively restrained in his commentary about the Iranian protests, largely because of fears that expressions of support would play into the hands of Iranian leaders who insisted that the protests had been stirred up by the Central Intelligence Agency. But Mr. Obama still made clear his support for the protesters’ goals, saying that “the democratic process — free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent — all those are universal values and need to be respected.”

Nor would Mr. Trump be the first American president to tread carefully when it comes to the internal affairs of China. Human rights groups criticized Mr. Obama for failing to more forcefully challenge Mr. Xi’s clampdown on civil society during his administration. And Mr. Obama’s secretary of state at the time, Hillary Clinton, told reporters on her first trip to Beijing that, while Washington must press Beijing on its values, “pressing on those issues can’t interfere” with such other priorities as the economy and climate change.

Read More

British government welcomes China's release of Hong Kong consulate employee.
British government welcomes China's release of Hong Kong consulate employee

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