Trump ends preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong
Taking office in January two thousand seventeen. US President Donald. Trump has spent many of his non golfing hours inventing new ways to pick fights with China in recent weeks. China has made this part of his job a good deal easier in imposing a repressive news channel Security Laura upon Hong Kong. Beijing has presented trump with an opportunity to strike back at China. Foreign actual reason as opposed to an invented or imaginary. Imaginary one and trump appears to have seized it, and made a stream of consciousness at the White House yesterday trump ordered an end to Hong Kong's special status under US law on joined a four more on this by the formulas diplomat Louis Lukens Lou is now a senior partner with Cigna Global Advisors, but spent the early part of his diplomatic career in China. Lou rawls them back to the briefing the president's announcement first of all what practical consequences is likely to have. Thank you, it's great to be back, so the practical consequences that take a little bit of a while to play out, and you really nailed it. Donald trump has been in some ways looking for a fight with China and China has given him a great excuse to ratchet up tensions. Down, trump spend a little bit conflicted on China right because he is really pursued, wanted this trade deal for the last couple of years at the same time he likes to talk tough on China and what we're seeing is the election comes closer and closer and were less than four months out to election day the United States is a bit of an. An arms race between Joe. Biden and Donald Trump both of them, trying to be seen as tougher than the other on China and I think we will see tensions ratchet up over the next four months as November third becomes closer in China becomes the common enemy that both candidates can agree on them. Both try to outdo each other on being tough on. I mean we'll try to be overly concerned about this. Because they ll affected this kind of response in they they they would have assumed that there would be consequences of some sort to imposing this new security lore on Hong Kong. They they will have thought it through obviously and and anticipated. The reaction would be I wonder a little bit of China hasn't overplayed his hand. I think there is such a court. We're seeing more coordinated international response now to China's aggression whether it's military aggression whether it's you know. Intellectual property, theft and and use. Of Technology. We're and then go human rights issues including Hong. Kong and what's happening with the weaker people in northeast in north western China. I think we're seeing. Countries have reached a tipping point and the Corona Virus in China's initial response to it is also leading countries i. think a little bit bolder and a little bit better coordinated in their measures to counter China and China maybe anticipated that in his plan that, but I think what we're seeing now for the first time, certainly in recent history is a better coordinated and methodical approach to China from Western. Allies working together with more of a common purpose I. Think than we've seen in a while a how coordinated can that response be? Though if the United States as led by President, trump applies his usual attention to detail and attention span to it again. Might this be a calculation that China of made that trump as usually his response to everything will have an puff, but signally failed to blow any houses down. Absolutely I think this guy is very possible and I think they'd be trying to get away with what they can before a Joe Biden presidency, which would start next January and I think we will see with the Joe Biden presidency in foreign policy under Joe, Biden of much more concerted effort to coordinate with allies, and to have an approach facing China and Joe Biden has talked about working with the European Union and Canada and Mexico and other allies to to deal with China's trade practices amongst other things. It is the united. States can't do that now or won't do that now. Because President, trump's policy is so sort of sporadic and incoherent, so China may be may see this as a window of opportunity to strengthen their position while they have a president in the White House who is is somewhat focused on China, but not really in the details, and in unable because of his actions over the last three years to really pull together a global coalition. How potentially dangerous is that? The you spoke earlier of China perhaps overplaying their hand way of Hong, Kong is concerned. Is there a concern that if as he suggested, it seems a reasonable analysis. They are trying to make hay you. All the sun is shining where president trump is concerned that they might overplay their hand further with potentially dangerous consequences. Will absolutely, and that's was you know is scary about this time that we're in right now because China, not justice is not just pushing on human rights in pushing on. In commercial interests around the world, but they're also being quite aggressive militarily. India of the south. China Sea and there's always potential for a misunderstanding. Or an accident we've seen this before you remember when they accidentally shot down an American plane that landed in on Hainan island some years ago. It's very easy for a miscalculation to happen, and when tensions are this high to begin with, it makes the diplomatic walk back from any military accidents much much harder to carry out.