Washington’s Hong Kong bill is likely to postpone the signing of the “phase one” agreement between China and the US, says Hong-Kong-based independent strategist Andrew Leung, explaining why the American rhetoric about the violation of basic freedoms in Hong Kong is overblown.
China has introduced sanctions against several American non-governmental organisations and banned US warships and military aircraft from visiting Hong Kong in response to the signing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 into law by Donald Trump amid longstanding mass protests in the semi-autonomous city.
On Monday, Trump admitted that when it comes to the Sino-American trade talks the US legislation “doesn’t make it better”. Previously, Washington and Beijing agreed to ink a “phase one” trade deal in a bid to bring an end to the bilateral trade war engulfing the two economic powerhouses since March 2018. However, according to sources familiar with the matter, cited by Axios, the negotiations have recently stalled over the US’ Hong Kong bill.
‘China Needs to Make a Stand’
Andrew Leung, an independent China strategist based in Hong Kong, believes that the US-China row over Hong Kong is “affecting the trade talks, at least initially” because of “these perceived interventions in Hong Kong’s affairs and the support of some of the protesters, including the rioter element”.
“China needs to make a stand. And this is going to affect the progress of the initial…