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People gather for a vigil to remember the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre People gather for a vigil to remember the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, despite permission for it being officially denied, in Hong Kong, June 4, 2020 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).

An Overly Aggressive U.S. Approach to Hong Kong Risks Playing Into China’s Hands

, Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Editor’s Note: Guest columnists Neil Bhatiya and Eric Lorber are filling in for Kimberly Ann Elliott, who will be back next week.

At the end of May, responding to efforts by Beijing to decisively assert control in Hong Kong, the Trump administration declared that it no longer recognized the city as sufficiently autonomous to enjoy special economic and financial privileges under U.S. law. The decertification sets the stage for a range of measures the United States could pursue, some of which could be economically damaging to Hong Kong’s status as a global financial hub. While China’s violations of the agreed-upon status quo regarding civil liberties and political autonomy in Hong Kong are worthy of a robust U.S. response, the administration should carefully calibrate its approach in order to minimize the collateral damage to Hong Kong itself. That means mixing limited sanctions and other tools, while broadening the number of voices criticizing Beijing’s posture. ...

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