BEIJING — Ignoring threats from Washington, China stripped another layer of autonomy from Hong Kong on Thursday, plowing ahead with a plan that would ban any form of dissent deemed subversive in the territory reclaimed from Britain more than two decades ago.
But even as the plan was approved by China’s top legislative body, and Chinese officials taunted the United States as an imperious meddler, Premier Li Keqiang struck a conciliatory tone. While offering no concessions to American demands, he called for close trade relations between the two countries.
The clash over Hong Kong and other issues points to the quandary facing China as it grows in power and contends with an increasingly aggressive Trump administration. The Chinese leadership does not want to incinerate the relationship with the United States, given the enormous economic benefits. Nor is it willing to back down, reflecting divisions in Beijing between hawks and more moderating forces.
“Anything the U.S. says or does or will do, China will refuse,” Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said in a telephone interview.
To view the original article, click here.