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China Protests HK Bill but Trade Breakthrough Still Possible

During the slow news period around Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump signed the legislation supporting protesters in Hong Kong. In the hopes of keeping it quiet, there was no signing ceremony with the President holding up the signed bill and smiling. Nevertheless, it didn’t work, at least on the surface as a furious China called in the U.S. ambassador for a verbal lashing, saying it amounted to interference in an internal Chinese matter.

Me thinks China doth protest too much. I suspect the protest was orchestrated by both sides, as Washington briefed China over the President’s decision to sign the Hong Kong bills. Since the bills had strong, veto proof majorities in both the House and Senate, the President realized that he had no choice but to sign the bills. Being overridden by the Republican Senate would have not only embarrassed the President but be a bigger black eye for China.

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