Trump tells Beijing to treat Hong Kong humanely or risk trade deal

Donald Trump has urged Beijing to treat Hong Kong “humanely” in order to reach a trade deal, in his most extensive comments yet on weeks of increasingly violent unrest in the territory.

“Millions of jobs are being lost in China to other non-Tariffed countries. Thousands of companies are leaving. Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!” the US president tweeted.

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“I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it,” he said in a subsequent tweet, suggesting a “personal meeting” with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Trump’s intervention came as footage of paramilitary movements along China’s border with Hong Kong emerged and official Communist party media warned “anti-China forces” would be stopped.

Satellite footage taken on Monday showed Chinese paramilitary vehicles gathered in a stadium in Shenzhen, a mainland city across the border from Hong Kong. Footage on Thursday showed thousands of military personnel in the stadium.

On Wednesday, the official Wechat account of the eastern district of the People’s Liberation Army posted an image of the vehicles in the stadium and with a map marking the distance to the Hong Kong airport, and quoted speeches by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping that the “central government must intervene” in the event of “turmoil” in Hong Kong. The post has since been deleted.

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