Hong Kong is Rioting and Trump Gives Meh Response
Hong Kong is Rioting and Trump Gives Meh Response
The riots in Hong Kong are escalating, as protestors demonstrate for freedom and the Chinese Communists crack down. On Monday our Nina wrote a terrific post explaining why these protests matter, and why Americans should care.
And President Trump, leader of the free world, gave a lukewarm response.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Trump said this about Hong Kong:
“The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation, very tough. We’ll see what happens but I’m sure it’ll work out. I hope it works out for everybody — including China, by the way. I hope it works out for everybody.”
I hope it works out for everybody? That’s what you say when your family is arguing.
He went on:
“I hope it works out for liberty, I hope it works out for everybody, including China. I hope it works out peacefully. I hope nobody gets hurt. I hope nobody gets killed.”
I hope nobody gets hurt? Has this man not been watching the harrowing videos from HK? How has he missed the bloodied faces, the beatings, and the protestor who suffered a ruptured eyeball?
Yet he hopes it all “works out for everybody, including China.” However, he named China twice in his remarks, but Hong Kong only once.
Pres. Trump on Hong Kong protests: "It's a very tricky situation. I think it will work out. And I hope it works out for liberty. I hope it works out for everybody, including China. I hope it works out peacefully. I hope nobody gets hurt. I hope nobody gets killed." pic.twitter.com/ZyYwLfZlny
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) August 13, 2019
But I suppose that’s an improvement from last week, when Trump gave carte blanche to China to handle HK their own way:
“Hong Kong is a part of China, they’ll have to deal with that themselves.”
Never mind that HK protestors have been waving the American flag and singing our national anthem.
Meanwhile, other U.S. lawmakers are speaking up more forcefully about the Chinese crackdown. For example, Sen. Marco Rubio posted this tweet:
They are not the benign & responsible actors they like to portray themselves as.
They are vicious authoritarians. https://t.co/o0hgrniCtj
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 13, 2019
Furthermore, Sen. Ted Cruz issued this press release:
“The Chinese Communist Party is deepening its campaign to deprive Hong Kong of its freedom and autonomy. The people of Hong Kong have responded with ten weeks of protests, which have been met with more threats and deepening repression.”
Cruz went one step further by pushing for the Hong Kong Policy Re-evalution Act, which requires the State Department to report on how China uses HK “to circumvent the laws of the United States.” That pressure would continue, wrote Cruz, “until authorities withdraw the extradition bill from future consideration and take steps to ensure that Hong Kong’s special status is protected.”
Meanwhile, on Fox News Business Channel, a spokeswoman for the Heritage Foundation said that President Trump “should not be afraid to call out” China for its rights violations:
So why has President Trump reacted in such a banal manner?
I think Ben Shapiro alluded to the answer in this tweet he gave prior to the President’s remarks:
Obama remained silent during the 2009 Iranian protests, and it was a moral abdication of the highest order. Trump must not remain silent on Hong Kong.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 13, 2019
Remember back in 2009, when we were all watching the Green Revolution unfold in Iran? As you may recall, those were also the Tea Party days in the United States, and many of us were cheering the young adults who were protesting for their freedom. Many of us felt a kinship to those kids who yearned for liberty.
Yet President Obama didn’t lift a finger to help the revolution succeed. Why? Because he wanted his nuclear deal to go through, not freedom for an oppressed people.
Likewise, President Trump badly wants a trade deal with China. Moreover, both Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have had an on-again, off-again bromance since the two met at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in 2017.
Then, on Tuesday morning, Trump delayed a tariff — set to begin next month — on some Chinese products, such as lap tops, cell phones, and video game equipment. “We’re doing this for for the Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers,” said Trump. Some tough crackdown on China that is.
But perhaps President Trump cares more about his trade deal than he does Hong Kong, which would be a shame if true. Because in that case, Trump would become Obama 2.o in regards to the freedom of suppressed people.
On Wednesday, President Trump reached out to China’s President Xi in a tweet:
“I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’ I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting? ”
Hopes and prayers that Trump and Xi can come together to stop the violence and allow Hong Kong residents the freedom they desire.