“‘I think it’s a really hard policy problem for the United States in part because there needs to be some sort of rule here of “Do no harm,”’ Ely Ratner, deputy director of national security for former vice-president Joe Biden, said during a discussion hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations in Washington on Monday.

“‘There are parts of that bill that are important in terms of some of the reporting requirements, but this lever of the autonomy status of Hong Kong is a very difficult question because the United States removing it would inflict some pain upon certain actors and some on China, but most of the pain would fall on the Hong Kong people and it would be a one-off after that, it wouldn’t be possible.’

“… ‘I think as long as [Trump] is not leading on American values and the United States is not putting values forward, then it cripples the United States’ ability to unite the international community to deal directly with China,’ said Ratner, the former adviser to Biden.

“‘This question of ideology and human rights and governance should be an ace in the hole for the United States in the competition with China. And right now it’s just not at all…’”

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