Protests took place in Hong Kong on Sunday after China’s National People’s Congress introduced new national security legislation that would give the Chinese Communist Party more control over the region and its citizens.
"Stop sending technology products to China," Lai, the founder of Hong Kong media company Next Digital, told FOX Business' "Mornings with Maria" said. "There are so many ways the U.S. can [help] to keep pressure [on] China to change. They can do whatever they like within their own country, but they have to follow the rules when they deal with the world outside."
He said now "is a good time" for the U.S. to retaliate against China while the country's economy "is at its worst in the last 30 years" and Chinese President Xi Jinping is in a vulnerable position. The U.S. can take the lead over the country by "changing their technology," he said.
Lai thinks Xi has taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis to assert power and that the Chinese president hopes to do so without other countries reacting. Lai added that Trump "already said that we will have serious consequences if [China imposes] the national security law."
"I hope President Trump will do what he says, and President Trump has always been doing what he says," Lai said. "I'm very confident that [the] U.S. administration will do something to save us from this crisis."
Trump moved to block global chip supplies to Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has been blacklisted by the U.S. government. The move highlighted growing tensions between the U.S. and China after Trump criticized Xi for China's response to the outbreak of the virus.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam argued on Tuesday that China's proposed national security law would not threaten the rights of Hong Kong's citizens.
"Hong Kong has proven that we uphold and preserve those values," Lam said. "Hong Kong needs this piece of legislation for the bigger benefit of the great majority of Hong Kong people."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.