Trump Wants to Meet China's Jinping Over Fears of Military Crackdown in Hong Kong

Published August 15th, 2019 - 07:54 GMT
US President Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a bilateral meeting in Florida. (AFP/ File)
US President Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a bilateral meeting in Florida. (AFP/ File)

U.S. President Donald Trump seemingly proposed a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to find a solution to the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong as fears mount that the Asian nation may be considering military intervention.

In a tweet Wednesday, Trump praised his Chinese counterpart as a "great leader" and a "good man" before stating that if he wants to find a solution to the months-long protests on the semi-autonomous island, he will.

"I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong Problem, he can do it," he said. "Personal meeting?"

The tweet on Wednesday followed several others by the president that linked the pro-democracy protests to the ongoing trade war between the two countries.

He said China was "eating" the tariffs the United States earlier leveled at the country through devaluing its currency and "pouring" money into their system, adding that his administration's move a day earlier to delay imposing some tariffs on the country from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15 while axing others helps China more than the states.

He said the deferral has little consequence to U.S. consumers but China will "reciprocate."

Trump said China wants to make a deal to end the trade war but should be allowed to first find a solution to the ongoing protests that have rocked Hong Kong.

"Millions of jobs are being lost in China to other non-tariffed countries," he said. "Thousands of companies are leaving. Of course, China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!"

Trump has faced both domestic and international criticism over his response to the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong as concerns rise that China may decide to end the protests militarily.

A day earlier, Trump said the Chinese military was building up along the Hong Kong border, suggesting the Chinese army may be preparing to intervene.

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Trump told reporters the situation was "very tough" and that he "hopes it works out for everyone, including China."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., chastised the president Wednesday for not standing up to China during the escalation of human rights abuses the state is allegedly committing against the citizens of Hong Kong.

"It is unacceptable that President Donald Trump is not standing up to Beijing as it intensifies its crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong," he said via Twitter. "He needs to make it clear that America stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Hong Kong who want democracy and freedom."

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Lead Republican Michael McCaul, R-Texas, issued a joint bipartisan statement over concerns the Chinese military may crackdown on protesters as it did during the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989, the death toll from which is unknown though is estimated from hundreds to thousands of people killed.

"Thirty years after the Chinese Communist Party's brutal massacre of peaceful democratic protestors in Tiananmen Square, we are concerned that China would consider again brutally putting down peaceful protests," they said. "We urge China to avoid making such a mistake, which would be met with universal condemnation and swift consequences."

Hong Kong has been submerged in chaos since early June when protesters took to the streets against a controversial bill that would allow for refugees from mainland law be sent back to China to face Beijing courts.

Following accusations of police brutality and their demands being ignored by the Hong Kong government, the protest evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement that encompassed more demands than just having the bill -- which has seen been shelved -- withdrawn.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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