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  • Writer's pictureXiaodong Fang

Why and how should the U.S. further uphold the Hong Kong protests for freedom

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

As the violence of Hong Kong police on protesters escalates, it has become increasingly clear that Beijing is behind the Hong Kong administration and the police authority. The occurrence of "Tiananmen 2.0" in Hong Kong is not impossible.

Photo by Joseph Chen, from Unsplash

However, facing the escalation of abusive practices of the government of Hong Kong and China, the U.S. president shows the reluctance to involved in the issues, whereas the Congressional support on Hong Kong is facing delay and gridlock. A CNN report in September revealed that President Donald Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US would remain quiet on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong while trade talks continued during a private phone call in June. Regarding the Congress, the legislation to support pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and pressure China to refrain from a violent crackdown faces an array of obstacles, raising questions about the prospect it will ever become law.

The lack of effective international engagement, especially from the U.S. would give Beijing and Hong Kong's Carrie Lam the "green light" to suppress the peaceful #HongKongProtest. Just as in 1989, the Bush administration was, to some extent, blamed for the inability to discourage China from repressing the Tiananmen students' protest.

So, how could pro-democracy activists and the general public who concern the Hong Kong and China issues help? I have made the following two suggestions:

First, Americans and other people in the free world can take actions to push your leaders and representatives to expedite the legislative upholding Hong Kong and China's human rights and freedom. With more public demands, the President would have to follow the "national mood" to respond to China's threats, rather than remain silent or even ‘co-opted’ with the authoritarian state, which acquiesces to another Tiananmen massacre.

Second, as the 2020 presidential campaigns and election are approaching, voters and the public could seek to influence the China issues throughout presidential candidates and their campaign activities. As I mentioned in a blog before, "Presidential candidates can use China-bashing to influence Congress on China-related issues. And once the legislative initiatives on certain China-related issues could turn into laws, such pressures on China to improve its practices will be more formal, influential and powerful than the President's informal claims."

We hope everyone seeking to spread universal values could contribute to reverse the downward political situations in Hong Kong and China, prevent another disaster like Tiananmen 1989, and promote freedom and democracy there.


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