Britain tells China to honour Hong Kong freedoms – Reuters


Officers moved in after crowds stormed and trashed Hong Kong’s legislature on Monday, the anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, protesting against proposed legislation allowing extraditions to mainland China.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt condemned violence on both sides and warned of consequences if China neglects commitments made when it took back Hong Kong to allow freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including the right to protest.

“We can make it clear we stand behind the people of Hong Kong in defence of the freedoms that we negotiated for them when we agreed to the handover in 1997 and we can remind everyone that we expect all countries to honour their international obligations,” Hunt told Reuters when asked what Britain could do.

He added that he hoped to avoid sanctions for China, saying: “I hope it won’t come up anything like that at all.”

“There is a way through this which is for the government of Hong Kong to listen to the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong about their freedoms,” he added.

China said on Monday Britain no longer has any responsibility for Hong Kong and needed to stop “gesticulating” about the city.

PROTESTERS FEAR MAINLAND CONTROL

China has denied interfering in Hong Kong affairs, though protesters have said the extradition bill is part of a relentless move towards mainland control.

Hunt, a candidate to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister, said at a campaign event in Belfast that many supporters of the Hong Kong demonstrators would have been dismayed by footage of Monday’s protests but that they should not be used as a pretext for repression.

The protests have created a fresh crisis for Chinese President Xi Jinping, already grappling with a trade war with Washington, a faltering economy and tension in the South China Sea.

 

Source: Britain tells China to honour Hong Kong freedoms – Reuters

Trump Paints Xi Into a Corner – Bloomberg


With the latest round of trade talks between the U.S. and China ending in a predictable stalemate, trade agreement one thing has become clear: The Trump administration’s approach to these negotiations has made it all but impossible for Chinese President Xi Jinping to make a deal. Until that changes, there’s no end in sight for the tariff-for-tariff tussle between the two countries, and little chance of achieving Donald Trump’s stated goals.

The White House seems to misunderstand a crucial fact about modern China. As Xi has tightened his grip on power, China’s economic and diplomatic initiatives have become closely associated with him personally. In foreign policy, Xi has sold himself as the champion of China’s global interests and the man to stand up to the West and restore the country to its former glory. At home, Xi has promised the “Chinese Dream,” a prosperous future with boundless new opportunities.

But this carefully crafted image comes with two downsides. First, Xi must avoid any potentially humiliating setbacks on the world stage, especially any inflicted by a Western power. Second, he must keep China’s economy growing, generating jobs and raising incomes.

You might argue that this mix should encourage Xi to reach a trade agreement sooner rather than later. After all, U.S. tariffs on Chinese exports will pinch China’s economy (at least a bit) at a time when it is already slowing and heavily indebted.

 

Source: Trump Paints Xi Into a Corner – Bloomberg