August 15, 2019

Trump’s Hong Kong Caution Isolates Him From Congress, Allies and Advisers

Featuring Daniel Kliman

Source: The New York Times

Journalists Edward Wong, Michael Crowley

President Trump’s cautious distance from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has left him politically isolated from both parties in Congress, the State Department, European allies and his most hawkish advisers at the White House.

Despite ringing declarations of support for the protesters from leading Democrats and Republicans as well as European officials, Mr. Trump has shown little sympathy for the mass demonstrations against China’s encroaching political influence on the former British colony. And in his almost-singular focus on his showdown with Beijing over trade and tariffs, Mr. Trump is ignoring the view of his conservative advisers, who believe that China’s authoritarian model threatens American interests worldwide.

Speaking to reporters as he headed to a campaign event on Thursday, Mr. Trump was complimentary toward China’s president, Xi Jinping. “I really have a lot of confidence in President Xi,” Mr. Trump said, predicting that if the Chinese leader met with protest leaders, “things could be worked out pretty easily.” Mr. Trump offered no words of support for the goals of the protesters, which include preventing China’s repressive political system from subsuming Hong Kong’s open society.

Read the full article and more in The New York Times.

Authors

  • Daniel Kliman

    Senior Fellow and Director, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Daniel M. Kliman is Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He is an expert in Asia-Pacific strategy,...