Cotton: ‘It Would Be a Grave Mistake of Historic Proportions’ for Beijing to Flood Hong Kong with Armed Police, PLA

Tuesday during an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) warned China against acting on protesters in Hong Kong with a show of force, especially with armed police and the People’s Liberation Army.

The Arkansas Republican said any action could further damage China’s relationship with the United States.

“Let me reiterate my message from your show last week,” Cotton said. “It would be a grave mistake of historic proportions if Beijing were to flood into Hong Kong with the people’s armed police and the People’s Liberation Army to crack down on Hong Kongers. If Beijing cracked down on Hong Kong, it would require a fundamental reassessment of our relation with their country, the kind that should have happened after Tiananmen Square.”

Cotton pointed out that without the proper handling the situation, hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk.

“Well, these protests started, Hugh, as you know, about an extradition law that would have allowed Beijing to extradite anyone in Hong Kong accused of a crime to the mainland, a fundamental breach of the 1984 joint declaration with Great Britain by which Great Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese control,” he said. “Even after that bill was tabled, Carrie Lam refuses to withdraw it entirely, and therefore, as you say, the protests kind of sprawled even larger and over greater grievances and concerns about the one country, two systems approach which has another 28 years at a minimum of life based on the joint declaration.”

“I suspect that Xi Jinping doesn’t want to lose face by telling Carrie Lam to resign in the face of these protests, but it’s not clear, either, what would stop these protests,” Cotton added. “And again, the risk to life if Beijing were to crack down in Hong Kong is severe. You’re talking about protests with hundreds of thousands of people, not hundreds, not thousands, hundreds of thousands of people.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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