Saturday, 21 January 2017

Hong Kong on Trump's Radar?

Now that Trump is President, how will he really deal with China, Hong Kong?
I was up late last night on my mobile, on Twitter and seeing people's reactions to Donald J Trump being inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

Almost everyone on my Twitter feed was horrified of having a reality TV star, billionaire, and businessman who has been accused of sexual harassment, of not paying bills and being bankrupt several times take over the Oval Office.

Senator Marco Rubio is concerned about Hong Kong rights
Beijing will be nervous to see what Trump will do -- he has threatened to slap a 45 percent tax on Chinese imports as part of his "American first" slogan. And can he really get companies to come back to the United States without raising prices for good and services so high that customers balk at paying them?

He may lay off questioning China about its human rights, but it seems Florida senator Marco Rubio, who is co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, has Hong Kong on his radar.

A few days ago Rubio said he is looking forward to reintroducing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

"America must show leadership and support these values in our foreign policy," he said in an email through his spokesman.

The bill was proposed following the incident of the five missing booksellers at Causeway Bay Books in 2015 and were detained by the mainland authorities without any legal representation or notice to their families.

The missing booksellers incident sparked a new proposed law
And so the bill proposes punitive measures against any government officials in Hong Kong or the mainland responsible for suppressing basic freedoms in the city.

The law would require the US president to identify persons responsible for the surveillance, abduction, detention or forced confessions of booksellers and journalists in Hong Kong or other actions suppressed basic freedoms, and to freeze their US-based assets and deny them entry into the country.

It's an interesting proposal, but would it work in reality? How can one prove where the orders came from for the authorities to detain the five booksellers? We still don't really know. And what if they don't have American assets or care to visit the US?

Regardless, it's interesting Hong Kong is on Trump's radar, and it might be either amusing or embarrassing having him speak out on the behalf of 7 million residents.

But hey -- any attention is good attention, right?

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