US President Donald Trump said he believes China still wants a trade deal with the United States. The remark suggests he is eager to prioritize the trade negotiations over the issue of Hong Kong.
Trump made the remark at the White House on Monday. It followed an announcement by China. The country outlined countermeasures it is taking in response to the president's signing into law two bills that support human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.
Beijing said it will turn down requests by US warships to visit the Chinese territory and impose sanctions on American NGOs.
When asked about this, Trump said, "The Chinese want to make a deal. We'll see what happens."
Last week, Trump said he signed the bills "out of respect for President Xi," which suggests he is eager to make progress in the ongoing trade negotiations.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged China to uphold the "one country, two systems" principle, which allows Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy.