One week after President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the Protect Hong Kong Act into law, China suspended visits to Hong Kong by U.S. military vessels and aircraft and sanctioned US-based non-government organizations (NGOs).

Trump said, “I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all.”

The first bill allows the U.S president to impose sanctions on violators of internationally recognized human rights in the Asian financial hub. The second one prohibits the sale of U.S.-made munitions such as tear gas and rubber bullets to the city’s authorities. China, with a long list of proven and alleged human rights abuses, will certainly want to limit any scrutiny of its behavior, especially toward the millions of Uyghur Muslims detained in internment camps in western China.

China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing would suspend its reviews of requests made by U.S. military aircraft and vessels and sanction NGOs for “supporting violent activities in Hong Kong." The NGOs included Human Rights Watch, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and Freedom House.

Hua Chunying continued, “There is a lot of evidence proving that these NGOs have supported anti-China forces to create chaos in Hong Kong and encouraged them to engage in extreme violent criminal acts and ‘Hong Kong independence’ separatist activities. They have a large responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong and deserve to be sanctioned and pay the price.”

navy The USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) carrier strike groups transit in formation during a joint photo exercise during exercise Valiant Shield 2007 on Aug. 14, 2007. Photo: Stephen W. Rowe/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

The ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. is due to escalate on Dec. 15 when additional tariffs will add $156 billion on Chinese goods to the U.S. and $75 billion to U.S. goods headed to China including soybeans.

While both countries will suffer from a prolonged trade war, the simple soybean is a particularly strong “weapon” for China. The Communist country can easily replace U.S. soybeans with Brazilian soybeans. This will cause a glut of soybeans in the U.S. and hurt farmers in the midwest and central states like Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana and Missouri, all of which are already suffering from existing tariffs.

In 2016, these farming states were crucial to Trump winning the presidency over Hillary Clinton. Chinese President Xi Jinping has no election worries, but Trump will be occupied by the next presidential election in November 2020 and these soybean farming states could be a deciding factor. The question is: Is a farmer in Missouri more concerned about the price of a bushel of soybeans or protecting a Hong Kong protester from rubber bullets? How the farmers answer that question could decide if Trump gets a second term and a continued firm stance toward China.