This week, US-China tensions escalated, following the U.S. government’s new policies on the autonomy of Hong Kong and their classification of Chinese social media apps, including TikTok and Wechat, as potential national security threats. With the Trump administration’s signing of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, an act condemning the Chinese regime for eroding Hong Kong’s freedom and, for the first time, rejecting most of Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, the administration assumed a much more forceful stance, creating a “perfect storm” for the Chinese Communist Party.
President Trump’s stance is a striking and dramatic shift from just a few weeks ago, when he refused to sanction the Chinese officials involved in the Xinjiang mass detention camps. At the time, he claimed that doing so would have negatively affected his trade deal with China. What would prompt the American president to initiate this public change in position? Might it have something to do with the CCP’s coverup of the outbreak? In this episode of the China Angle, we’ll examine these questions and assess where US-China relations are likely to go from here. We begin with a look at the events unfolding over the past week.