Bilateral tensions deteriorated further this week, as U.S. backlash continues to mount over Beijing's attempt to push through a Hong Kong national security law. Following President Trump's threat of sanctions, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee held a hearing discussing punitive measures against China. The Chinese Communist Party "must know that there are consequences to its actions," said Republican Senator Pat Toomey. "Otherwise, the lesson that they will conclude is that they can continue the aggression against Hong Kong and perhaps in other places around the world." In response, a commentary featured in the People's Daily called Trump's actions "political posturing" and "incomprehensible", while Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that U.S. action to "obstruct China's development and growth is doomed to fail."
Meanwhile, the Trump administration decided to bar Chinese passenger airplanes from flying to the U.S. in a bid to "pressure Beijing to let U.S. air carriers resume flights." In response, China eased its restrictions on foreign travel, incurring criticism on Chinese social media about whether Beijing was conceding to Washington.
Senate legislation was also introduced this week to prevent China and other "malign state actors" from stealing U.S.-funded research at American universities, reflecting U.S. concern over Beijing's alleged attempts to tap U.S. universities to increase China's military and technological competitiveness. The bill would also expand the State Department's ability to deny visas to foreign students and researchers. China routinely denies any allegations over intellectual property theft, saying that the U.S. is using the issue as a political tool. For more, read "We All Lose in the U.S.-China Visa Wars" by Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, on China-US Focus.
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.