In a June 18 phone call with China President Xi Jinping, Donald Trump reportedly made a promise — that he would not make any public comments about the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. As The Inquisitr reported, the call between the U.S. president and Xi was revealed on Thursday, after Trump publicly called for China to “investigate” his potential 2020 Democratic election opponent, Joe Biden.
Trump also mentioned Biden on that call with Xi, for reasons that are not clear, according to the reports on Thursday.
Trump appears to be sticking to the pledge he reportedly made to Xi. On October 1, Hong Kong police shot an 18-year-old protester, an incident that went unmentioned by the president. And on Friday, according to a Sky News report, police in Hong Kong shot a 14-year-old boy, who is now listed in serious condition. The victim on Friday was shot in the leg. Tuesday’s victim, Tsang Chi-kin, was struck by a bullet in the shoulder — and has since been charged with rioting, an offense that carries up to 10 years in prison in Hong Kong.
The shooting of the 14-year-old came before Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam gave police “emergency powers” — powers that have not been invoked in the territory for 50 years, according to a report by the Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald.
Hong Kong protesters beat a police officer, set him on fire, then try to steal his sidearm after he shot a 14-year-old protester in the leg with another live round. Again, another young protester has been shot with a live round.
— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) October 4, 2019
The emergency powers are designed specifically to prohibit protesters from concealing their faces with masks, adding that the invocation of the powers “doesn’t mean Hong Kong is in a state of emergency,” as quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald. Instead, she called the mask ban “an effective deterrent to radical behavior.”
Aside from being the same day that Tsang was shot by police, October 1 was referred to by Hong Kong’s police chief as one of the “most violent and chaotic days” in the four months of protests. Meanwhile, Trump not only failed to publicly mention the shooting — the first time a protester was struck by a live bullet since the protests began in June — he also took to Twitter on that day to congratulate the authoritarian Communist state on 70 years of existence.
Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2019
Hong Kong lawmaker Claudia Mo called the emergency powers declaration a “watershed” and a “Rubicon,” saying that the move “could be just a starter.
“More draconian bans in the name of law could be lurking around the corner,” she added, as quoted by the BBC.
Lam declared the emergency powers under a law that dates to 1922 when Hong Kong was a British colony, rather than a semi-autonomous territory of China. The law was last invoked in 1967 in response to riots and allows the Hong Kong chief executive to bypass the territory’s legislature in imposing new laws, according to the BBC account.