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US Congress ill-informed on HK freedoms: Neil Bush

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-12-02 21:48
Neil Bush, founder and chairman of the George H.W. Bush Foundation for US- China Relations,speaks in a media interview on Sunday during the Imperial Springs International Forum held in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The son of the late former US president George H.W. Bush has criticized the bill passed by the US Congress, and signed by President Donald Trump, making demands related to Hong Kong's special trading status.

Neil Bush, a Texas-based businessman and the brother of former US president George W. Bush, said members of Congress were not "well enough informed" about freedom and democracy in Hong Kong, when it passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The bill was signed by President Trump, who faced a congressional override had he chosen to veto the bill.  

The law allows the US to suspend Hong Kong's special trading status based on an annual assessment of its autonomy under the "one country, two systems" principle.

It was a "knee jerk action" for the US Congress to support the bill, Bush said.

"I love it when people express their feelings. But I think it's important to dig deeper to understand what is really motivating (the movement) because I don't understand what freedoms are not enjoyed by Hong Kong people," Bush said.

Bush said from what he can see, the "one country, two systems" principle is working very well. From his perspective, the people in Hong Kong have plenty of freedom to do everything they want and no freedoms have been taken since 1997 when Hong Kong returned to the motherland. He went on that he is pleased that the central government has not intervened, leaving the SAR government to resolve six months of rioting and destruction.

"There may be some real problems in Hong Kong, like income disparity and job-related issues. Those problems will be worked out by Hong Kong," Bush said.

He acknowledged that "outside influence" had been a factor in the riots but he did not elaborate.

Bush was answering questions related to Hong Kong's situation on the sidelines of the 2019 Imperial Springs International Forum in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province. He now serves as chairman of the George H.W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations.

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