On November 27, US president Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
The bill, passed by veto-proof majorities in Congress amid large protests in the “special administrative region,” allows the president to impose sanctions on officials who violate human rights there, and requires various US government departments to annually review Hong Kong’s political status with a view toward changing trade relations if the US doesn’t like what it sees.
In response to the bill’s passage and Trump’s signature, the Chinese government in Beijing denounced US “meddling” in China’s “internal affairs” and threatened “countermeasures.”
Some non-interventionists agree with Beijing’s line on the matter, claiming that Hong Kong is intrinsically part of a thing called “China” and that the US simply has no business poking its nose into the conflict between pro-democracy (and increasingly pro-independence) protesters and mainland China’s Communist Party regime.
I happen to disagree with Beijing’s line, but that doesn’t mean I think the bill is a good idea. Non-interventionism is sound foreign policy not because the situation in Hong Kong is simple, but because it’s complex.
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