HONG KONG (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump has described protests in Hong Kong as “riots” that China will have to deal with itself, signaling a hands-off approach to the biggest political crisis gripping the former British colony in decades.
Millions have taken to the streets in the past three months to protest against an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party.
The protests are the most serious political crisis in Hong Kong since it returned to China 22 years ago. They also pose the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012 and come as Xi already grapples with a Sino-U.S. trade war and tensions in the South China Sea.
Some activists have waved the U.S. flag during the demonstrations, while Beijing has accused U.S. officials of being behind the violent chaos and warned against interference.
Trump was asked by reporters before leaving for a campaign event in Ohio on Thursday whether he was concerned by media reports that China might intervene in Hong Kong and said the city had experienced “riots for a long period of time”.
“Hong Kong is a part of China, they’ll have to deal with that themselves,” he said.
Trump’s labeling of the demonstrations as riots is certain to rile activists in the Asian financial center who have called on the city’s government to drop the use of the word to describe the protests.
On Wednesday, 44 people were charged with rioting for their role in one recent protest that turned violent when thousands of activists clashed with police near Beijing’s main representative office in the city.
Rioting is defined under Hong Kong law as an unlawful assembly of three or more people where any person commits a breach of the peace. A conviction can carry a 10-year prison sentence.
Trump said earlier this month he believed Xi had acted responsibly with the Hong Kong protests and that “China could stop them if they wanted”.
Thousands of civil servants are planning to rally on Friday night in support of the protesters and to urge authorities to rebuild confidence in the government, with more demonstrations planned for the weekend.
What started out as protests against the extradition bill have evolved into a broader backlash against the Hong Kong government and its political master in Beijing.
Reporting By Felix Tam and Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Paul Tait
HONG KONG (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump has described protests in Hong Kong as “riots” that China can have to deal with itself, signaling a hands-off strategy to the most important political disaster gripping the previous British colony in a long time.
Tens of millions have taken to the streets up to now three months to protest towards an extradition invoice that may have allowed individuals to be despatched to mainland China for trial in courts managed by the Communist Social gathering.
The protests are essentially the most critical political disaster in Hong Kong because it returned to China 22 years in the past. In addition they pose the best in style problem to Chinese language chief Xi Jinping since he got here to energy in 2012 and are available as Xi already grapples with a Sino-U.S. commerce battle and tensions within the South China Sea.
Some activists have waved the U.S. flag throughout the demonstrations, whereas Beijing has accused U.S. officers of being behind the violent chaos and warned towards interference.
Trump was requested by reporters earlier than leaving for a marketing campaign occasion in Ohio on Thursday whether or not he was involved by media stories that China would possibly intervene in Hong Kong and mentioned the town had skilled “riots for a protracted time frame”.
“Hong Kong is part of China, they’ll have to deal with that themselves,” he mentioned.
Trump’s labeling of the demonstrations as riots is for certain to rile activists within the Asian monetary middle who’ve referred to as on the town’s authorities to drop using the phrase to describe the protests.
On Wednesday, 44 individuals have been charged with rioting for his or her function in a single latest protest that turned violent when 1000’s of activists clashed with police close to Beijing’s most important consultant workplace within the metropolis.
Rioting is outlined underneath Hong Kong regulation as an illegal meeting of three or extra individuals the place any particular person commits a breach of the peace. A conviction can carry a 10-year jail sentence.
Trump mentioned earlier this month he believed Xi had acted responsibly with the Hong Kong protests and that “China may cease them in the event that they wished”.
1000’s of civil servants are planning to rally on Friday night time in assist of the protesters and to urge authorities to rebuild confidence within the authorities, with extra demonstrations deliberate for the weekend.
What began out as protests towards the extradition invoice have developed right into a broader backlash towards the Hong Kong authorities and its political grasp in Beijing.
Reporting By Felix Tam and Anne Marie Roantree; Modifying by Paul Tait