Hong Kong — The US is voting on a bill supporting Hong Kong’s democracy and human rights movement, but will it help take the city out of the political crisis?
The president of the National Committee on US-China Relations says the bill will have little impact.
According to Stephen Orlins, who has led the New York-based body that promotes unofficial exchanges between China and the US since 2005, the proposed legislation “risks being counterproductive”.
His remarks came as protesters were marching to the US consulate, calling on Washington to pass the act.
Protestors also urged the US to intervene in the political crisis in Hong Kong.
But so far, there are no indications US President Trump is personally interested in intervening.
He provided little interest to get involved in Hong Kong’s political crisis, merely calling for everyone’s safety.
In a tweet dated last August, he commented that US intelligence reportedly showed “the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!”
Trump also tweeted that he believes President Xi Jin Ping can “quickly and humanely” solve the Hong Kong problem.”
On Sunday (Sept 8), a crowd bearing US flags mobilized and marched towards the US Consulate in Hong Kong.
One protester, David Wong, shared in a report by the South China Morning Post, “We share the same US values of liberty and democracy. USA is a country of democracy. Donald Trump is elected by his people. We want this.”
They also urged the US to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. If passed, the bipartisan legislation could allow Washington to sanction mainland Chinese and Hong Kong officials and “strip the city of its special status as a separate trade and customs entity from the rest of China.”
“If there’s one country that can restrain the Chinese Communist Party, it will be the US,” another protester said.
What began as a peaceful demonstration turned riotous as radical protesters clashed with police who tried to arrest them.
Some protesters barricaded one of the exit paths in the Central subway station and set it on fire.
Police then used tear gas and batons to disperse the mob.
Despite the withdrawal of the extradition bill, Hong Kong citizens are unsatisfied with the current political situation. Activists argue that only one out of five official demands have been met.
Pro-democracy activists, despite having no official leader, have five demands from their government: withdrawal of the extradition bill, resignation of leader Carrie Lam, investigation of police brutality, release political prisoners, and granting of greater democratic freedoms.
The crowd has been chanting “Five demands, not one less” and playing the US national anthem during the Sunday protests./TISG
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019