Half of all Americans responding to a mid-2023 survey from the Pew Research Center cited China as the biggest risk to the U.S., with Russia trailing in second with 17 per cent. Other surveys, such as from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, show similar findings.
Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed a “high degree trust” in Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam after the two met in Shanghai on Monday, months after the city has been shaken by protests that pitted locals against the police.
“Xi voiced the central government’s high degree of trust in Lam and full acknowledgement of the work of her and her governance team,” the official news agency, Xinhua reported on the meeting.
“Ending violence and chaos and restoring order remains the most important task for Hong Kong at present,” Xi was quoted by the Xinhua as telling Lam.
Xi and Lam’s meeting in Shanghai came in the backdrop of a weekend of violence in the special administrative region (SAR) of Hong Kong marked by a knife attack and the vandalising of Xinhua’s office in the city.
“Xi expressed his hope that people from all walks of life in Hong Kong fully and faithfully implement the principle of “one country, two systems” and the HKSAR Basic Law, and make concerted efforts to safeguard Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” the report said.
Hong Kong’s protests started in June against proposals to allow extradition to mainland China, a move many feared would undermine the city’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
Earlier this month, the city’s police fired teargas into election candidate meetings in the Asian financial hub to disperse pro-democracy activists amid on-going protests.
China planned to replace Lam as the city’s chief executive while citing people briefed on the deliberations, which would bring to a close Lam’s rule after months of pro-democracy protests.
In 2018, the Hong Kong government had disqualified the candidacy of another pro-democracy activist, Agnes Chow, for the Legislative Council by-election in March of the same year due to her stance on advocating self-determination for the former British colony.
The controversial China extradition bill was withdrawn in early September but the movement has morphed into a wider campaign for greater democracy and against alleged police brutality.