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World Trump national security adviser won’t say if president will sign Hong Kong bill

23:45  23 november  2019
23:45  23 november  2019 Source:   politico.com

Hong Kong condemns London 'attack' on justice secretary as protests rumble on

  Hong Kong condemns London 'attack' on justice secretary as protests rumble on Hong Kong condemns London 'attack' on justice secretary as protests rumble onSecretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, who was in London to promote Hong Kong as a dispute resolution and deal-making hub, was targeted by a group of protesters who shouted "murderer" and "shameful".

President Donald Trump ’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien. | In an impassioned speech accepting the prize, Hong Kong lawmaker Emily Lau said she hoped the president would sign the Hong Kong bill and called on attendees to “do your best to ensure that there will be no rivers of blood

WASHINGTON — President Trump has spent months delicately sidestepping Hong Kong ’s escalating battle between pro-democracy demonstrators and security services enforcing China’s authoritarian government line.

Halifax, Nova Scotia -- President Donald Trump hasn’t said he’ll sign a bill in support of the Hong Kong protest movement, despite passing with veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress.

Robert C. O'Brien et al. posing for the camera: President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien.© Michael Campanella/Getty Images President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien.

And his national security adviser isn’t saying, either.

On Friday, the president described the months-long protests in Hong Kong as a “complicating factor” in his dealings with China, which he’s pushing to cut the first phase of a trade deal by year’s end.

“If it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes,” Trump told the hosts of “Fox & Friends.”

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US national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on Saturday an initial trade agreement with China was still possible by the end of the year, but warned that Donald Trump has been vague about whether he would sign or veto US legislation to back protesters in Hong Kong , and boasted that he

President Trump said on Friday that the long-negotiated trade deal is potentially very close U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien said Saturday that the so-called phase one trade Both chambers of Congress recently passed a pro- Hong Kong rights bill amid crackdowns on the protests.

And he said he had warned Chinese leader Xi Jinping not to crack down on the protesters, which Beijing describes as rioters and criminals. “He’s got a million soldiers standing outside of Hong Kong that aren’t going in,” Trump said, “only because I asked him, ‘Please don’t do that. You’ll be making a big mistake. It’s going to have a tremendous negative impact on the trade deal.’”

But the president pointedly declined to say whether he’d veto the Hong Kong legislation, which passed the House this week with just one ‘no’ vote. Among other measures, it authorizes sanctions against Chinese officials.

“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I'm also standing with President Xi,” Trump said. “He’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy,” the president continued. “But I’d like to see them work it out, OK? We have to see and work it out. But I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things that we want to do, but we also are in the process of making the largest trade deal in history. And if we could do that, that would be great."

Trump Expected to Sign Hong Kong Bill Despite China Threats

  Trump Expected to Sign Hong Kong Bill Despite China Threats President Donald Trump is expected to sign legislation passed by Congress supporting Hong Kong protesters, setting up a confrontation with China that could imperil a long-awaited trade deal between the world’s two largest economies. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The bill, approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday, passed the House 417-1 on Wednesday and could go to Trump as soon as Thursday. A person familiar with the matter said Trump plans to sign the bill.

The possibility that the Hong Kong bill could be signed into law has shaken the confidence of Wall Street analysts who had become increasingly optimistic in recent While Mr. Trump ’s advisers debate how much tariff relief to offer in the first phase of a trade deal, similar debates are playing out in China.

President Trump says he stands with democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong . But he stopped short of pledging support for a pro- Hong Kong bill , saying it It's unclear whether President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping can come to a trade deal. A new bill supporting Hong Kong protesters

Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien indicated on Saturday that even he didn’t know which way the president was leaning, though he acknowledged the bill passed with “a pretty significant majority.”

“So I don’t have any information on the signing,” he said, noting that he had been traveling.

“What’s happening in Hong Kong is terrible, and our hearts go out to the people of Hong Kong,” O’Brien said, and that the U.S. was “monitoring the situation closely.”

“At the same time, we have a broad range of issues to deal with the Chinese on,” he added. But he said the U.S. expected the Chinese government to live up to the commitment it made to “one country, two systems” at the time of the handover from British rule.

O’Brien’s comments were made in a news conference with reporters at the Halifax International Security Forum, a gathering of diplomats and military officials from leading democracies.

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President Trump said he stood with Mr. Xi, as well as the pro-democracy protesters in Hong WASHINGTON — President Trump claimed in a Fox News interview on Friday that China’s But Mr. Trump would not commit to signing legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress this week that

President Trump also said "thousands of people would've been killed in Hong Kong right now" if he hadn' t told President Xi Jinping that intervening in Given the bill 's widespread support in Congress, if President Trump does veto it, there's a good chance lawmakers will be able to overrule that decision.

The theme of this year’s forum is the rise of China, and panelists have repeatedly highlighted the growing threat the Beijing government poses to the freedom and security of democracies around the world.

O’Brien’s remarks came hours after Cindy McCain presented an award in the name of her late husband, Sen. John McCain, to “the Hong Kong people.”

In an impassioned speech accepting the prize, Hong Kong lawmaker Emily Lau said she hoped the president would sign the Hong Kong bill and called on attendees to “do your best to ensure that there will be no rivers of blood in Hong Kong.”

Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London, warned that a presidential veto of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act “would send a very clear signal to China that at the end of the day he will turn in favor of China, so China can do whatever it wants in Hong Kong.”

Beijing, meanwhile, warned Washington against passing the bill into law. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement: “We urge the U.S. to grasp the situation, stop its wrongdoing before it's too late, and immediately take measures to prevent this act from becoming law."

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US President Donald Trump is hedging his bets on supporting the Hong Kong ‘pro-democracy’ rioters, making clear he is not willing to alienate China in The bills call for a yearly assessment of the status of Hong Kong ’s special autonomy, with sanctions imposed as penalties upon anyone (in China)

US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien at a round table event at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Saturday. The comments add to growing worries that a Chinese crackdown on anti-government protests in Hong Kong could further complicate the trade war.

Lau and Figo Chan, a 23-year-old social democrat who coordinated the participation of 50 political parties and activists groups in the current protest movement, told POLITICO they also called for targeted sanctions against Chinese officials over their efforts to weaken checks and balances in Hong Kong and their sometimes violent response to protests.

“I support legislation to punish officials who violate human rights by banning them and freezing their assets,” Lau said, but she acknowledged that Hong Kong may become a pawn in Trump's trade war with China.

“We are sort of caught right in the middle. We know he changes his mind every day. We were not born yesterday. There are certain things we cannot influence,” Lau said.

While defiant, both Lau and Chan are pessimistic that the democracy movement can succeed in the absence of a more coordinated Western strategy against China’s attempts to roll back democratic checks and balances in the territory.

“We don't trust China,” Chan said. He expects a wave of “massive imprisonment, arrest and prosecution.”

Hong Kong holds council elections on Sunday, which some have characterized as a referendum on the democracy protests. But Lau warned the international community to keep Sunday’s vote in perspective.

Trump approves legislation backing Hong Kong protesters -White House

  Trump approves legislation backing Hong Kong protesters -White House HONGKONG-PROTESTS/TRUMP (URGENT):Trump approves legislation backing Hong Kong protesters -White HouseWASHINGTON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law congressional legislation backing protesters in Hong Kong despite angry objections from Beijing, with which he is seeking a deal to end a damaging trade war.

President Trump said there is “a very good chance” to make a trade deal with China but that unrest Trump wouldn’ t say explicitly whether he would sign legislation backing Hong Kong ’s protesters Ousted national security advisor John Bolton seems to be hinting at possibly testifying late in the

President Trump also said "thousands of people would've been killed in Hong Kong right now" if he hadn' t told President Xi Jinping that intervening in Given the bill 's widespread support in Congress, if President Trump does veto it, there's a good chance lawmakers will be able to overrule that decision.

“These councils have no power. You know, they are advisory bodies” only, she said.

Lau — a legislator for 25 years and former Hong Kong Democratic Party chair — says the new generation of protestors still have a lot to prove: “They can't just suddenly say, oh, I protest three weeks, I'm going to stand for election. If people still vote for them, good luck. But I want people to really do the work and then stand.”

Asked what the U.S. was prepared to do if China launched a bloody crackdown in Hong Kong as it did in Tiananmen in 1989, O’Brien declined to specify on the grounds that it was a “hypothetical question.”

“I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. We’ve already seen too much violence in Hong Kong,” he said. “I hope the violence doesn’t continue, and we hope that we don’t have a Tiananmen Square situation in Hong Kong. That would be a terrible thing.”

“The United States will do its part,” he said.

But citing how some other Western countries seem more interested in dealing with Beijing than in standing up to Chinese leaders, he the real question is, “What is the world prepared to do about China if there’s that sort of crackdown?”

Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, a former Conservative minister and chair of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee, told the Halifax forum that there are doubts “there would be any price to pay” if the Chinese military rolled into Hong Kong to quell the protests.

“We’re basically more interested in the trade,” Neville-Jones concluded.

China to suspend US Navy visits to Hong Kong over bill .
China announced Monday that it will suspend U.S. Navy visits to Hong Kong in retaliation over President Trump's decision to sign legislation that supported the city's pro-democracy protesters who have taken to the streets since June. © Provided by Fox News Network LLC CHINA EXPERT SAYS BEIJING'S THREATS ARE LAUGHABLEBeijing took its first step to make good on its promise to employ "countermeasures" against the U.S. in light of the bills that it blasted as "hegemonic" in nature and ignorant of the facts on the ground.The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which was sponsored by Sen.

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