By Thomas Catenacci –
Prominent pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters support President Donald Trump’s re-election bid citing his strong stance on China.
The protesters who have demonstrated against China’s tightening grip on Hong Kong believe that if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins Tuesday’s election, the U.S. stance on China would be weak, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP). As vice president, Biden lead former President Barack Obama’s China policy, according to The Atlantic.
“If Biden wins, he will return to his old path and honor international agreements without any drastic approach to contain China,” Simon Lau, former policy adviser at Hong Kong government’s defunct Central Policy Unit think tank, SCMP reported.
President Donald Trump is also the favorite among Hong Kong social media users who support democracy, according to SCMP.
However, some Hong Kong experts said what matters most is that the U.S. adopts a bipartisan approach to China, according to SCMP.
“Relying on one politician and political party will not be beneficial,” Hong Kong Democracy Council founder Samuel Chu told SCMP. “Trump only started to openly blame China more when it became necessary for electioneering.”
Tensions in Hong Kong ramped up in 2019 after Beijing passed a law enabling the government to extradite Hong Kong citizens to mainland China. Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens participated in mass protests in response, which were some of the largest in Hong Kong history, according to The New York Times.
In November 2019, Trump said he “saved Hong Kong,” according to Bloomberg. He added that his administration’s stance on Hong Kong has prevented China President Xi Jinping from instituting a more violent crackdown and spared thousands of lives.
Biden has also supported Hong Kong’s democracy protests.
“The brave people of Hong Kong deserve the full support of the United States as they demand the civil liberties and autonomy promised to them. Violent suppression is unacceptable. The world is watching,” Biden tweeted in October 2019.
The Trump administration has taken a consistently strong stance against China, according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Trump has confronted china on “intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, export subsidies and economic espionage,” CFR reported.
Trump has also led the U.S. into an ongoing trade war with China, according to CFR. During his presidency, he has increased tariffs on Chinese goods multiple times, CNBC reported.
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