The Debate

Trump and Hong Kong: How much do human rights matter?


Is it a matter of principle that highlights values essential to the United States and the foundations of its legitimacy as a superpower? Or did Donald Trump sign a bill backing Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement as part of an eventual grand bargain over trade with China?


After all, Hong Kong rarely registers on Trump's Twitter timeline. He prefers to focus on tariffs, cyber security and the battle over next-generation 5G networks. Either way, Beijing has vowed a robust reaction. But how robust?

Chinese soft power is on a bad streak with last Sunday's local elections in Hong Kong turning into a rout. Not to mention the China Cables revelations on the mass internment of Uighur Muslims. Does Xi Jinping recalibrate or crack down even harder?

Produced by David Rich, Juliette Laurain, Jimena Morales-Velasco.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning