Facing rising unemployment in the mainland due to the Covid-19 outbreak and the potential for a big loss in Hong Kong legislative elections set for September, the Communist Party decided it had more to gain by acting decisively to stem any potential threats. Social Science Emeritus Professor and IEMS Faculty Associate David Zweig said the US would not immediately revoke HK’s status as a separate customs territory from Mainland China but would consider imposing sanctions on Chinese officials and the Chief Executive if Beijing were to introduce the national security law in Hong Kong. Regarding Xi’s message to Donald Trump “We’re going to do what we want in Hong Kong, and we’re not scared of the consequences”, Prof. Zweig said Beijing is tightening its grip on the city as the Chinese leadership feels threatened, that HK becoming a potential subversive center poses greater risk than the city losing its economic value. China is also feeling heat from other countries: Disputes over its handling of the virus has strained ties with Australia and the European Union, while poorer countries who borrowed large sums for infrastructure under Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative are struggling to pay back the cash. But the biggest risk for Xi is still unemployment at home. With lots of young people out of work on the mainland, the last thing the Communist Party wants is a revival of violent Hong Kong protests, Zweig said.