Hong Kong

Trump: 'If It Weren't for Me, Thousands of People Would Have Been Killed in Hong Kong'

The president takes credit for the fact that Beijing hasn't sent tanks into Hong Kong.

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Today, on a 53-minute televised phone call with Fox & Friends, President Donald Trump tried to take all the credit for the fact that the Tiananmen Square massacre has not repeated itself in Hong Kong.

"If it weren't for me, thousands of people would have been killed in Hong Kong right now, and you wouldn't have any riots, you'd have a police state," said Trump.

"The only reason [Chinese President Xi Jinping is] not going in is because I'm saying it's going to affect our trade deal and you don't want to do that."

He also attempted to strike a middle ground, saying, "We have to stand with Hong Kong but we also have to stand with President Xi. He's a friend of mine, he's an incredible guy…but I'd like to see them work it out."

Glowing praise for authoritarians is par for the course for Trump, but it's odd that he's attempting to strike a middle ground of supporting Hong Kong protesters and supporting Xi, whose government has disappeared Hong Kong booksellers and detained consulate personnel on false pretenses as a form of intimidation. Not to mention the Chinese government's egregious tendency to crack down on garden-variety political speech in all kinds of cruel ways, or its surveillance and internment of the Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Earlier in the call, Trump noted, "I stand with Hong Kong, I stand with freedom…but we're also in the process of making the largest trade deal in history and if we can do that, that would be great. China wants it, we want it."

Trump's remarks were a response to legislation supporting the protesters in Hong Kong. The bill has passed both the House and the Senate and is now heading to Trump's desk. The president, who has 10 days to sign the legislation (not counting when Congress is adjourned for Thanksgiving), has stated that he might veto it due to concern that it could threaten his ongoing trade talks with China.

The protests, now in their sixth month, initially centered around a now-revoked extradition bill proposed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The legislation would have allowed Hongkongers to be extradited to Taiwan and mainland China, where the criminal justice system is arbitrary and harsh—far from the due process Hongkongers expect.

Though Hong Kong is technically part of China, the territory has operated under a "one country, two systems" since 1997. This guarantees its citizens free speech, a free press, and the ability to elect many of their representatives—freedoms mainland Chinese citizens are not granted. The policy is set to remain in place until 2047, at which point the city will become fully Chinese. Hongkongers are not only just fearful that China is prematurely encroaching on their rights; they're responding to the brutality protesters have received at the hands of the police. As the situation continues to escalate, more and more people are caught in the violent crosshairs.

More on Hongkongers' demands here:

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  1. Why hasn’t the Chinese government crushed Hong Kong? I think it is pretty reasonable to think a big part of the reason is fear over what kinds of economic sanctions Trump would hit them with. That isn’t the only reason but it is certainly part of it.

    1. Yeesh. China is perfectly OK let Hong Kong stew. It is the HK govt that is losing credibility. HK that is going to lose business to Shenzhen (which is now 3-4x bigger than HK where in 1997 it was less than 50% the size). Both those simply make it easier for China to fully take over in 2047.

      There are lots of reasons why the protests won’t stop. HK youth ain’t got nothing to lose. But virtually no reasons why China should life a finger to stop them. And if you think that Trump is even remotely relevant, you are simply feeding his narcissism

      1. China will just let it stew and have the wound continue to embarass them and continue to run the risk of it spreading and not just crush it for reasons.

        Bullshit. China hasn’t crushed it because it is Hong Kong and doing so would do grave damage to its economy. And part of that damage is the economic sanctions that would result from the US and other places.

        Not everything is a story to attack Trump. Stop projecting your fucking weirdo obsession with him on other people. If you are unable to see reality as it is and just see everything as an excuse to attack him, you are just as stupid and obsessed as you claim his supporters are.

        Unlike a lot of people on here, you occasionally say something interesting and smart. So you are not stupid. Why are you allowing your desire to virtue signal about Trump make you stupid? Grow a fucking pair of balls and call it as it is for once.

        1. Not everything is a story to attack Trump. Stop projecting your fucking weirdo obsession with him on other people.

          LOL

          John: Sure, Trump totally deserves some credit for why the tanks haven’t rolled into Hong Kong!

          JFree: Umm, yeah, about that…

          John: STOP ATTACKING TRUMP!!!!!!!!

          1. Fail.

            Really should’ve quit after the Kim jealousy over Xi comment

        2. China hasn’t crushed it because it is Hong Kong and doing so would do grave damage to its economy.

          In 1997, Hong Kong was 25% of China’s economy. Today, it is 3%. Hong Kong is close to irrelevant to China. THAT is why China doesn’t need to ‘crush’ anything. As I said, Shenzhen is far more important now than hong Kong.

          1. How much money moves through Hong Kong. And which part of “economic sanctions” do you not understand?

            1. What part of ‘economic sanctions’ happens to China if they let HK stew?

              And HK ain’t that important anymore even within finance. Yeah it’s the 3rd most important financial center in the world. But Shanghai is 5th, Beijing is 7th, and Shenzhen is 9th.

              China really has less than zero interest in keeping HK in 3rd. If the riots affect HK’s ‘place’ in those standings (which they will), then Shanghai/Beijing/Shenzhen will be the beneficiaries. That is a far better outcome for China long-term than some dubious attempt to keep HK artificially propped up until 2047.

              1. Just looking at that list of financial centers. Even if China were to ‘lose’ HK completely (which won’t happen – see below), the impact on China is far far far less than Brexit (London is #2) is to the EU (Zurich is #14, Frankfurt is #15, Paris is #17). I don’t see the EU parts of NATO rolling tanks into London cuz of Brexit do you?

                1. OTOH – maybe the reason the EU hasn’t rolled tanks into London is cuz Trump prevented it. So there’s another thousands of lives who owe their lives to Trump.

          2. If Hong Kong is so unimportant to China, why don’t they just let them go and be independent?

            1. Because HK is a symbolic relic of Chinese weakness and Opium Wars. THAT ain’t gonna be allowed to happen.

              But ‘independence’ is not remotely viable for the billionaires of HK. Don’t believe for one second that the billionaires of HK (who fully run HK) aren’t completely pro-China. ‘Independence’ is an idealistic pipe-dream for the young of HK. China is perfectly happy to let the billionaires of HK fight the young of HK. And since that outcome is pretty certain, there won’t be a need for China to DO anything.

              1. JFree
                November.23.2019 at 2:02 pm
                “Because HK is a symbolic relic of Chinese weakness and Opium Wars. THAT ain’t gonna be allowed to happen.”

                I’m guessing your knowledge of China comes from Parade Magazine.
                Hint:
                The only city in China that has a “China Town” is Shanghai.

                1. I’m guessing your knowledge of China comes from a fortune cookie at your local takeout. Or maybe you had a conversation with a panda at a zoo once. Or maybe you saw a Kung Fu movie with really bad dubbing.

                  How Hong Kong began

        3. What Chinese politicians want to do, is use corrupt courts in China to steal the wealth of wealthy HK residents. All they have to do is get them in a local jail, and force them to sign over their wealth to get out maybe. They aren’t making what they used to, and staying elected requires keeping the plebes in their jurisdiction employed and happy. Meanwhile the people in HK don’t vote for them.

      2. JFree
        November.22.2019 at 3:53 pm
        “Yeesh. China is perfectly OK let Hong Kong stew…”

        Tell that to tank-man, 1989.

        1. Can’t tell the difference between Beijing and Hong Kong? Well hell no wonder. All those Chinese (and their cities too) look alike.

    2. Never-Trumpers: Trump is to blame for everything.
      Always-Trumpers: Trump deserves credit for everything.

      1. Nobody in government deserves credit for anything.

  2. Glowing praise for authoritarians is par for the course for Trump

    Coming from a publication that mouths platitudes while supporting in every possible way the communist Chinese regime, including calling for the unilateral elimination of American tariffs and military presence and ceding the entire South China sea as well as abandoning Taiwan. I guess Trump should do as Reason does and take a hard line stance against authoritarianism… by giving communist China more money, withdrawing militarily and diplomatically from the global stage, and allowing the most brutally repressive regime in the history of human civilization to become the world’s sole imperialist superpower.

    1. Amazingly enough Reason’s patented brand of complete surrender combined with empty words and gestures doesn’t deter the Chinese.

    2. Trump talks crap about them too. I remember outrage of him calling Kim “rocket man” and vapors being had about nuclear strikes. Bunch of confirmation bias BS. Trump is all over the place..

      1. Trump being all over the place is another way of saying he is unpredictable. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that dealing with an unpredictable adversary is going to deter you a lot more than a predictable one.

        1. See? It’s 3-D chess!

          1. “See? It’s 3-D chess!”

            From 4-D stupidity.

        2. John : “I am going to go out on a limb here…”

          Trumpian Bootlick’n to the nth degree. Who in the world takes Trump seriously? No one. To most enemies, he’s a clown who slobbers and fawns over him. Iran is one exception; they just ignore him. To this country’s allies he’s a jerk who stages little spectacles of playacted abuse, but only for the viewing entertainment of his base back home. They treat him like you do some creep uncle.

          To the Saudis, he’s the imbecilic dupe they took into a closed-door meeting, and then led him out calling for jihad against Qatar. Long-suffering aides had to sit our child-like president down to explain about Al Udeid Air Base.

          For Putin he’s a joke beyond contempt. Remember when Vladimir took little Donnie into a meeting and had calling for a joint-Russia-US cyber crime task force afterwards? It’s like the Godfather convincing the FBI to join a Mafia-FBI joint venture against organized crime. I bet Putin is still telling that corker to his great-grandchildren years from now, laughing uproariously while the kids look up wide-eyed.

          Erdoğan had him for only the briefiest telephone call, but convinced Trump to stab the Kurds in the back. Grownups had him reconsider, but Trump eventually fired every adult around him. There the issue stood unchanged for months, then Erdoğan got a few more phone minutes and adios Kurds…

          Ukraine? There’re trying to escape past corrupt leaders, only to be visited with a sleaze plague of Giuliani, Lev Parnas, Igor Furman, Rick Perry, and Donald John Trump, everyone running their own separate scam.

          Israel knows they can get anything they want while DJT is whoring to his evangelical base, but they saw what happened to the Kurds too. They know what they’re dealing with….

          So who takes Trump seriously ?

            1. Really? Going by comments of Trump’s supporters, they just seem to appreciate good WWE-style entertainment value in lieu of boring old presidential leadership. But that’s a different thing, isn’t it? You watch Saturday morning cartoons, but that doesn’t mean you take them seriously.

              If Trump’s supporters did, I suspect they’d find it problematic every other word he speaks is lying. But they don’t, do they?

          1. Trump has caused immense harm to the ME economy by promoting fracking.

            He’s damaging the Chinese economy heavily.

            He armed Ukraine (Obama, it should be noted, refused to do so even when Congress passed legislation and funding calling for him to do so).

            Trump is the nuclear bomb nobody wants to cross.

            Unlike his predecessor, who bowed to tyrants. Literally.

            1. See? Case in point. Trump is a “nuclear bomb” and deserves credit for damaging the Middle Eastern economy by “promoting fracking”. Um WTF? Fracking has been around for a while now, and the only thing Trump has done about fracking specifically is to propose a plan to open up more fracking in California, which was only proposed earlier this year and hasn’t even gotten off the ground fully yet. How this stymied plan proposed just this year is somehow responsible for “caus[ing] immense harm to the ME economy” is just fiction.

              1. “See? Case in point. Trump is a “nuclear bomb” and deserves credit for damaging the Middle Eastern economy by “promoting fracking”. Um WTF? Fracking has been around for a while now, and the only thing Trump has done about fracking specifically is to propose a plan to open up more fracking in California, which was only proposed earlier this year and hasn’t even gotten off the ground fully yet. How this stymied plan proposed just this year is somehow responsible for “caus[ing] immense harm to the ME economy” is just fiction.”

                Obama actively sought to reduce it. Every Dem running for office is doing the same. Every last one of them.

                The ME is in turmoil and gas prices are stable. Thank fracking. And since the Dems have ALWAYS hated it, thank Trump for endorsing it.

          2. Trump is a lot like Obama (at least how he was in 2008-09), in that a lot of people simply project their hopes and desires onto him. So when Trump fucks up, his supporters will invent whatever mental fiction is necessary and project it onto Trump in order to maintain their faith in him.

            1. Jeff just admit you are too stupid to make an intelligent point and move on

          3. That’s pretty funny, and mostly accurate (except sorry, kurds, not our business and Turkey is a member of NATO). But I’d say anyone in charge of the US military and nuclear assets should be taken seriously.

          4. “So who takes Trump seriously ?”

            Lefty fucking ignoramuses who forever quote him.
            Lefty fucking ignoramus.

    3. the most brutally repressive regime in the history of human civilization

      Why are you talking about the Mongols? Genghis Khan has been dead for sometime now.

      1. I thought he meant Pol Pot.

  3. I personally think the bill is a bad idea as is sticks of (possible) foreign interventionism

    1. Reason would have done a better job writing an article on the possible intervention implied by the bill rather than one criticizing Trump for his statement

      1. Yep.
        But Reason wants to pretend it doesn’t exist, because they don’t have the intellectual ability in the entire staff combined to write anything meaningful or thoughtful about it.

      2. What is the “possible intervention implied by the bill” that you deem potentially objectionable?

        1. The US Congress passing a bill that attempts to dictate China’s behavior toward Hong Kong is very much regarded as intervention by the Chinese.
          As for martial intervention, keep an eye on the South China Sea

          1. Trump — hahaha — says he’s about to form a “tremendous” trade deal with China. But he ALSO days he caved to Xi on Hong Kong!!

            This is even nuttier than his phony great deal with North Korea,

    2. I don’t know if it is. How the US treats HK is actually an internal matter for us; if we judge that HK has more or less the same market conditions as the mainland, why can’t we treat it thusly?

  4. China thinks or Trump has said that the USA will not trade with them if they do a Tiananmen Square style military crack down.

    Maybe all the hardened Commies have long retired and there just are not enough troops willing to massacre their own people in street fighting.

    1. not enough troops willing to massacre their own people

      Those troops are all in western China right now, subjugating the Uighurs.

  5. The president takes credit for the fact that Beijing hasn’t sent tanks into Hong Kong.

    Yet.

    1. But that’s the wonderful thing about Trump. As a man of proven integrity and consistency, he will readily take the blame if thousands are killed in Hong Kong.

      1. “But that’s the wonderful thing about Trump. As a man of proven integrity and consistency, he will readily take the blame if thousands are killed in Hong Kong.”

        And fucking lefty ignoramuses are willing to blame him for atmospheric storms on Titan.
        Right, fucking lefty ignoramus.

  6. You must be truly pathetic to support this imbecile.

    1. Aww, looks like it’s someone’s nap time

      1. I’m on it.

        *douses rag with chloroform*

  7. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump said that he’d do something if it became Tiananmen Square (or more likely Nanjing, considering the entire city’s essentially protesting at this point), and if its part of the reason China’s being quiet. I also think China’s getting to the end of its rope though, since we’re seeing more and more protestors willing to pick up arms or go after pro-China politicians in Hong Kong.

    1. That’s what concerns me about the congressional virtue signal.
      Pretty much tells China there’s nothing to lose by cracking skulls now

    2. It’s adorable to think that Trump could be quietly working in the background on a solution to a touchy situation and not tweeting all about it.

      1. So bitter, resentful, and petty

  8. > He’s a friend of mine, he’s an incredible guy…

    Funny that Trump considers him a friend and an incredible guy, even while claiming he has to stop him from committing a bloodbath. Trump calls violent thugs his friends.

    Whereupon the Trumpistas stick turnips in their ears and chant “La la la la I can’t hear you la la la la la!”

    1. If Trump declares his love for Xi Jinping, will Kim Jong Un get jealous?

      1. Ok, 2 decently clever comments this thread.
        I’m guessing you’ll not do the wise thing and go out on a high note though…

    2. No, brandy, we’re just not useless children.
      You’re more the type to shut out anything you don’t want to hear – I mean, you are the one who cravenly begged Reason for censorship

    3. Funny how you defended Obama putting a chairman Mao ornament on the white house ”””””holiday””””” tree but now you’re offended by Chinese communists.

      1. Kinda like how Romney was a blundering moron for saying that Russia was our biggest geopolitical foe in 2012 in the midst of Obama’s Russia ””””’reset””””” and promising Medvedev he’d have more ”””””flexibility””””” after his reelection, but now you think Russian political interference is an impeachable scandal. It’s almost like you’re a Democratic party stooge who do or say literally anything in service of the party.

      2. I just googled what the heck this one was about. It is even more egregious than how you described it: Barack Obama took time out from Presidenting to commission a Mao holiday ornament, then excitedly got Michelle and the girls to gather round while he played old Pete Seeger records and told them stories about how wonderful Mao was while hanging the ornament front and center on the tree.

        Unfortunately, could only find news stories breaking the Mao Ornament Scandal, but not a single journalist bothering to follow up on whether the Obama Administration left the ornament up or took it down after it was called to their attention.

        And, unfortunately, couldn’t find Brandybuck’s defense. Bet it just oozed with pro-socialist thought.

  9. What’s in the stand with HK bill? If nobody tells me I might be forced to look it up.

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_Human_Rights_and_Democracy_Act

      According to the Congressional Research Service,[3][4] the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would direct various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong’s unique treatment under U.S. law. Specifically, it would:

      Require the Secretary of State to issue an annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy to justify special treatment afforded to Hong Kong by the U.S. Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.[20]
      Require the President to identify persons responsible for the abductions of Hong Kong booksellers and journalists and those complicit in suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong, including those complicit in the rendition of individuals, in connection to their exercise of internationally recognized rights, to mainland China for detention or trial, and to freeze their U.S.-based assets and deny them entry into the United States.[20]
      Require the President to issue a strategy to protect U.S. citizens and businesses from the risks posed by a revised Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, including by determining whether to revise the U.S.–Hong Kong extradition agreement and the State Department’s travel advisory for Hong Kong.[20]
      Require the Secretary of Commerce to issue an annual report assessing whether the government of Hong Kong is adequately enforcing both U.S. export regulations regarding sensitive dual-use items and U.S. and U.N. sanctions, particularly regarding Iran and North Korea.[20]
      Make clear that visa applicants shall not be denied visas on the basis of the applicant’s arrest, detention or other adverse government action taken as a result of their participation in the protest activities related to pro-democracy advocacy, human rights, or the rule of law in Hong Kong.[20]

      I don’t like the sanctions part of it, but the rest of it just seems to mandate that the executive branch compile a bunch of reports to see if Hong Kong is remaining a free city-state within China.

      1. And by the way.
        This Hong Kong bill is proof positive that crafting of foreign policy is NOT the sole domain of the executive alone. Foreign policy is created both by the executive and the legislative branches.

        Foreign policy is NOT whatever POTUS says it is.

  10. This is a result of Nixon (remember Tricky?) sucking up to communist China before resigning to dodge impeachment. Congress should be voting on admitting HK as a U.S. State, or at the very least, helping them declare independence and form an alliance with the other opium smuggling port of Formosa… er… Taiwan. For once the Dems are coming up with enough cojones and integrity to at least pretend to admire freedom from coercion–other than coercion by their own jackbooted minions. Trading with looters is a liability.

    1. Congress should be voting on admitting HK as a U.S. State

      Damn. I thought I was smoking some good shit.

      1. How pissed would Puerto Rico be if Hong Kong became the 51st state.

        1. “How pissed would Puerto Rico be if Hong Kong became the 51st state.

          Fucking lefty ignoramuses spend most all of their lives in fantasy-land.

  11. Trump just might be right. Might be one of the few good aspects of his war on trade and his general scatter-brained policies. He’s so bizarre compared to ordinary politicians that his opponents and even friends can’t guess what he’ll do next.

    Not to invoke Godwin’s law, but I always figured the main reason Hitler had so many easy successes was because he wasn’t a fan of orthodoxy. March into the Ruhr? OK! Tell Britain he wanted naval parity? Good by us! Want the German part of Czechoslovakia back in the German Reich? Gosh that makes sense? Tanks through the Ardennes to avoid the massive forts elsewhere? Why would anyone do that? But eventually his bizarre ideas ran into well-armed enemies, and then you need good ideas, not just bizarre.

    How that matches with Trump’s history, I do not know. The current Dems seem to have taken the bizarre aspect without any idea of needing some actual possible plans behind them. Everything they propose requires such huge budgets and tax increases that they will never get off the ground. It’d be like Stalin thinking he could invade Norther Canada just to show Hitler how crazy it was to invade the USSR.

    1. How that matches with Trump’s history, I do not know.
      It does not.

    2. Trump is playing n-dimensional Go.

  12. wow.. now its a big deal mr president.. I think you better do anything else beside hongkong because they have a father already.. no matter how long they resist.. they will back to China.. about the death or not aren’t we have an organization to do that? why would you mind other’s business? .. If China want them to die even you cant help all of them sir.. hahaha

  13. If Trump takes credit that thousands haven’t been killed yet, I’m sure he will take the blame if things go south and thousands are killed.

    1. “If Trump takes credit that thousands haven’t been killed yet, I’m sure he will take the blame if things go south and thousands are killed.”

      Could be, but in any negotiations, you can only go so far.
      You, OTOH, are certain to blame him for sun-spots.

  14. Trump, ever more stupid, as the impeachment noose tighten.
    Remember his “fantastic deal” with North Korea. 🙂
    Where he actually caved?

    Putin has been pulling Trump’s chain for years, ever since Russian money launderers saved his business, when it was near collapse and NO other lender would touch him.

    Now, Trump admits caving to Xi, even worse than he did to Kim Jong-un!
    And his bobbleheads are nodding.

    “I’m setting up the biggest trade deal in history. But I had to support China’s police state in Hong Kong.” Could he get an even bigger deal, by also giving away Alaska and/or Hawaii? His cult would call that a victory too!

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