Donald Trump backs China's Xi Jinping to resolve Hong Kong crisis 'humanely'

Donald Trump says Xi Jinping is a ‘great leader’ – UPI / Barcroft Media

Donald Trump has backed Xi Jinping to resolve the unrest in Hong Kong “quickly and humanely”, floating the possibility of meeting his Chinese counterpart personally to discuss the issue.

come under fire at home for his hands-off approach to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, called Mr Xi a "great leader".” data-reactid=”18″>The US president, who has come under fire at home for his hands-off approach to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, called Mr Xi a “great leader”.

By nightfall, police and protesters were again facing off on the streets, with riot officers shooting tear gas almost immediately as their response to demonstrators toughens.

Ten weeks of increasingly violent confrontation between police and protesters have plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.” data-reactid=”20″>Ten weeks of increasingly violent confrontation between police and protesters have plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

“I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people,” the US president tweeted at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’ I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”

Police fire tear gas to clear pro-Democracy protesters during a demonstration on Hungry Ghost Festival day in the Sham Shui Po district Credit: Getty

Chinese paramilitary movement along the Hong Kong border.” data-reactid=”34″>A US State Department spokeswoman said earlier on Wednesday that the United States was “deeply concerned” about Chinese paramilitary movement along the Hong Kong border.

The State Department’s expression of concern came after senior US lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties called on Mr Trump to take a tougher line with China as worries grew over a possible Chinese intervention.

Mr Trump, who has been seeking a major deal to correct trade imbalances with China, has faced criticism from Congress and elsewhere for not taking a stronger public line on Hong Kong and for his characterisation of the protests earlier this month as “riots” that were a matter for China to deal with. 

A protester attempts to kick a tear gas canister during a demonstration on Hungry Ghost Festival day in Sham Shui Po district  Credit: Getty

China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing called the behaviour at the airport no different to terrorism and said it must be severely punished.

Hong Kong protesters yesterday apologised for "over-reacting" during heated clashes at the city’s airport where suspected Chinese spies were detained and beaten by some demonstrators.” data-reactid=”52″>Hong Kong protesters yesterday apologised for “over-reacting” during heated clashes at the city’s airport where suspected Chinese spies were detained and beaten by some demonstrators.

“We’re deeply sorry about what happened yesterday,” read a banner held up by a group of a few dozen demonstrators in the airport arrivals hall in the morning.

“We were desperate and we made imperfect decisions. Please accept our apologies,” the banner said.

China on Wednesday denied requests for two US Navy ships to visit Hong Kong, the Pacific Fleet said on Tuesday.

The USS Green Bay, an amphibious dock landing ship, was to stop in Hong Kong on Saturday, while the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie planned a port call there next month.

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