Kissinger Institute Director Robert Daly issued the following response to remarks at the Wilson Center by Vice President Mike Pence on the NBA and the Hong Kong protests:

NBA: It was refreshing to hear the administration call on American corporations to represent American values. Nike and the NBA are no more guilty of “kow-towing” to Beijing than other multinationals, however, including those in the hospitality, technology, and commercial aviation industries. The real question is to what degree American corporations should be asked, or compelled, to sacrifice the American value of free markets to the American value of free speech. Combatting China’s worldwide promotion of illiberalism will not be cost-free.

Hong Kong:  The Trump Administration pledged today to “stand with” the Hong Kong protestors, who Beijing views as separatists and terrorists.  Ten days ago, Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping pledged that attempts to split China would “end in crushed bodies and shattered bones.” If lives are not to be lost, the Hong Kong protestors, the Hong Kong government, Beijing, and the concerned international community will all have to make difficult concessions.

In contrast to the Hudson Institute speech of October, 2018, the Vice President’s equally hard-hitting Wilson speech offered the beginnings of a positive vision for U.S.-China relations. Vice President Pence made clear that the United States does not aim at containing China and does not wish to decouple from its economy.  The goal is co-prosperity and peace based on fair, truly reciprocal relations.