The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, with the President of China, Xi Jinping. (Image via The Japan Times)
U.S Hong Kong Acts might diminish the chance of Xi's Japan state-visitWhen the President of the United States (U.S), Donald Trump, passed the bill of Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Wednesday, to support Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters, as an ally of the U.S, Japan might have to reconsider the chance of the state visit of the President of China, Xi Jinping, in Spring 2020.
The new Act signed by Trump said that the U.S State Department will conduct an annual review to certify Hong Kong's status whether it is sufficiently autonomous to justify special treatment for bilateral agreements and programs.
Beijing reacted against the Act quite stridently. And, it might prolong the trade war rattling the global economy.
The new Act also invited Japan and South Korea (S. Korea), as allies of the U.S, to support human rights in Hong Kong.
Signing the Act, Trump hoped that the leaders of China and Hong Kong would settle their differences in an amicable way for long-term prosperity and peace.
Sharing same vision as its ally, Japanese lawmakers pushed Abe to rescind the invitation for Xi because China remains stiff-necked toward the protesters' demand, and the condition in Hong Kong shows no alleviation.
Furthermore, the political experts said that Abe might offend Trump by inviting Xi to Japan amid the trade and security frictions between the U.S and China.
The experts admitted that the bilateral relations between Japan and China are showing positive signs. But, still, they are fragile. Due to the U.S intervention in Hong Kong, Japan is in a dire strait on how to maintain relations with China.
If China goes coercive on Hong Kong protesters, Japan will have to cancel Xi's state visit to Japan.
China is looking forward to deepening the bilateral relations with Japan. Sino – Japanese ties are strained due to wartime and territorial disputes. Fortunately, both countries said that the ties had returned to normal.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, denied that the Act will hinder Xi's visit to Japan.
Signaling good signs, China in mid-November released a scholar whom it arrested due to an allegation of espionage. Japan's Foreign Minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, said that it would create a good atmosphere for the state visit.
But still, the reactions are divided. Even from Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), they were against the statement that Sino – Japanese ties had come back to normal. And of course, they were against Xi's visit due to China's action toward Hong Kong.