No connection between Hong Kong, trade war: FM

By Wang Wenwen and Li Sikun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/19 22:48:40

People wave the Chinese national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at a pier in Tsim Sha Tsui of Hong Kong on August 8. Photo: Xinhua

China's Foreign Ministry on Monday refuted the intention of US President Donald Trump to link the situation in Hong Kong and the China-US trade negotiations, stressing the need to end violence and restore order in Hong Kong as soon as possible.

Trump on Sunday said that carrying out a crackdown on Hong Kong protesters would harm trade talks between the two countries.

"I think it'd be very hard to deal if they do violence," Trump told reporters.

Asked to comment, ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Hong Kong affairs are China's domestic affairs and he hoped the US side could keep its word.

Geng noted that Trump previously said, "Hong Kong is a part of China. They'll have to deal with that themselves. They don't need advice."

Trump's remarks represent a clear interference in Hong Kong affairs, and such interference was frequently seen with other issues, said Zhang Jiadong, deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University.

Geng said China hoped the US could "join hands" with China to implement the consensus reached between their leaders in Osaka and find a solution acceptable to both via dialogue and consultation based on mutual respect and equality.

Trump's comments came as Hong Kong experienced its 11th consecutive weekend of protests. 

Hong Kong affairs are China's core interests which are more important than the trade war and if the US insists on linking Hong Kong with the trade war, there would be no room for further talks, Xue Li, director of the Department of International Strategy at the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Xue noted that the central government is clear about the special nature of Hong Kong affairs and therefore will adopt an appropriate way that suits all sides.

"But the bottom line is Hong Kong belongs to China," Xue said.

For more than two months, Hong Kong has been rocked by black-clad protesters who have kept escalating tensions and paralyzed the city's transportation and public order.

"The so-called democracy and freedom without rule of law and order will only lead to anarchism and social chaos, which will ultimately hurt the interests of the general public," Geng said. The most urgent and utmost task for Hong Kong now is to end violence and restore order, he said.

The 11th round of China-US trade talks were held in Shanghai on July 30, which ended without agreement.


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