China's human rights issues could impact trade deal

Hong Kong is on the brink of a “total breakdown,” according to a police spokesperson, and how China handles the situation could potentially impact a trade deal with the United States.

The human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang province are “part of the conversation,” Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday during an interview on “Mornings with Maria.”

“There’s a recognition that we can’t decouple the economies entirely and so yes, we are speaking out and saying we want to see these abuses fixed, but it’s not a retreat that says we still can’t have trade deals,” he said, adding that the administration wants to make sure that “so many of the things China has done on the economic front, from cheating on trade deals and devaluing its currency” are resolved.

The pro-democracy protests have stretched into their fifth month and are showing no signs of slowing down.


On Tuesday, a few thousand protestors took over several blocks in the city’s financial district on Tuesday, blocking roads and snarling traffic. Protests on Monday resulted in the shooting of one demonstrator, who is in serious condition, and the arrest of more than 260 people.

Hong Kong's economy entered a recession in the third quarter as the violence has deterred tourists from visiting the city.

Third-quarter gross domestic product fell 3.2 percent, the biggest drop since the financial crisis. That followed a 0.4 percent contraction in the second quarter. A recession occurs when there are two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

“I think that we agree that they need to make sure that the agreement they signed with the Brits is maintained and protected and I think that is an indication to how they will conduct other agreements across the globe in other trade deals and in other agreements,” Short said.