Trump prioritizes China trade talk over defending protesters

Posted on Thursday, August 15th, 2019 By Jonathan Lemire And Robert Burns, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is prioritizing China trade negotiations over defending the Hong Kong protesters.

This contrasts with the stance sometimes taken by his White House predecessors, who might well use such a flashpoint as a moment to espouse an American commitment to democratic values.

Trump's approach also stands in contrast to the strong words by some leading members of Congress who blame China for the unrest in Hong Kong. His State Department has urged restraint by China and lamented "the continued erosion" of Hong Kong's autonomy.

Amid stock market volatility this week and talk of a possible recession, worries have grown within the White House that escalating China trade tensions and tariffs could undermine Trump's best argument for reelection -- a strong economy.

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