It remains to be seen if President Donald Trump has any interest in helping Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters — but if he does, there are a number of options available to him, write former GOP Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Christine Whiton in an op-ed for Fox News. Their proposals would hopefully allow the U.S. to express support for democracy — a long-time pillar of its foreign policy — without provoking China into escalating its repression in Hong Kong.
- First, they recommend Trump use the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act, which empowers him to deny U.S. visas to human rights abusers, as well as apply property sanctions, to any Chinese or Hong Kong officials involved in violent repression of the protests.
- Second, Gingrich and Whiton suggest Trump use declassified intelligence to embarrass Chinese officials by documenting their corruption, hopefully stirring up dissent among ordinary Chinese citizens.
- Third, Trump can use the Patriot Act’s rules again money laundering to “seize bank accounts and other property of corrupt Chinese officials.” They also recommend blocking the children of high Communist Party officials from studying in the U.S., hopefully fomenting discord within the top ranks of the Chinese elite.
- Fourth, use organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy to funnel technology and other support to the protesters in order to enable them to continue communicating despite Internet blackouts and other state-imposed measures intended to hinder the protests.