USAsia Centre’s Gordan Flake says “it is clear there are several things on the [US] president’s mind” but “more immediately” he is focused on the future of Hong Kong following China’s plan to impose national security laws.
Beijing has proposed enforcing national security laws on Hong Kong that would prohibit any act that threatened national security – including pro-democratic demonstrations – contradicting the ‘one nation, two systems’ policy.
Mr Flake told Sky News President Trump was also focused on “the overall narrative of blaming China for the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Donald Trump has flagged that the US was preparing to announce action against China in response to the country’s recent movements.
“[China’s proposal] not only violates the basic agreement that was agreed to by the United Kingdom and China back in 1997 but has really raised concern as to whether there are trade sanctions,” he said.
“It adds to an already tense relationship between the United States and China today.”