Trump links China trade deal to to action in Hong Kong, offers to meet with Xi

Protest in Hong Kong against China's intervention
Protest in Hong Kong against China’s intervention

President Trump has proposed a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss how to “humanely solve” months of protests that have racked Hong Kong.

In a Wednesday evening tweet, Trump called Xi “a great leader who very much has the respect of his people.”

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

Trump’s remarks came after some ten weeks of pro-democracy protests that have frequently devolved into clashes with police, paralyzing the Asian financial hub. Most recently, thousands of demonstrators occupied Hong Kong’s international airport, causing the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Trump’s remarks came on the same day and in contrast to a State Department statement that it was “deeply concerned” about China respecting Hong Kong’s autonomy.