Trump drags Tiananmen to raging trade war with China
KONFRONTASI - US President Donald Trump has linked a trade deal with China to the situation in Hong Kong, warning against the outbreak of violence in the financial hub.
His remarks come as China has issued yet another stern warning against weeks-long protests in Hong Kong, saying it will not sit idly by and watch as the unrest continues.
The Chinese media, however, brushed off concerns about a possible “repeat" of the deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown 30 years ago if Beijing moves to end the unrest in Hong Kong.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Trump said that “I think it would be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean if it’s another Tiananmen Square, I think it’s a very hard thing to do.”
“I’m president, but that’s a little beyond me, because I think there’d be, you know, tremendous political sentiment not to do something.”
Unrest in Hong Kong has become a regular weekend activity over the past couple of months.
Numerous American senators and Congress members, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have over the past days expressed support for the crippling protests in Hong Kong.
China, however, has blasted statements by US lawmakers in support of the riots, denouncing them as a “gross” interference in the vast Asian country’s domestic affairs.
Trump said he was still hopeful about a future agreement with China, saying resolving the crisis in Hong Kong would be “very good” for the deal.
“I would like to see Hong Kong worked out in a very humanitarian fashion,” Trump said. “I think it would be very good for the trade deal.”
Trump initiated what is effectively a trade war with China last year, when he first imposed unusually heavy tariffs on imports from the country. Since then, the two sides have exchanged tariffs on more than 360 billion dollars in two-way trade.
Beijing, accusing Washington of practicing “naked economic terrorism” against the country, has opposed the US tariff hikes, saying they are harmful not only to China and the US, but to the whole world.
Trade talks between the US and China collapsed in May after Washington sharply hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate.[ptv]