China Folds: For All Its Bluster, Beijing Does Nothing After Trump Signs HK Bill

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Just a few hours after Trump called China’s bluff on the Hong Kong bill, it appears the US president won the pot.

After launching a stern verbal protest overnight in which China’s Foreign Ministry said that it would take strong countermeasures if the US continues to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy after Trump signed the Bill that supports HK protesters, adding that US attempts to interfere in HK are doomed to fail, Beijing has done nothing really, and instead left the door open for a trade deal with the U.S., confirming again that China needs the trade deal with the US just as much as Trump, if not more.

The build up certainly was dramatic: for days after Congress almost unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act last week, China repeatedly vowed it would take unspecified countermeasures if Trump signed the bill, fueling concerns that President Xi Jinping would scuttle the trade talks to appear tough on the U.S. In the end, China did nothing: Wednesday’s bill signing by Mr. Trump came and went without any real action.

Instead, as the WSJ notes, “Chinese officials shifted their focus to whether the U.S. president would implement any of the bill’s measures, according to officials involved in economic policy-making.” Specifically, to save face, Beijing seized on a sentence in Trump’s statement that emphasized his “constitutional authorities with respect to foreign relations.” – READ MORE

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