Chinese troops near Hong Kong border, Trump calls on Beijing to act “humanely”

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — A gathering of Chinese policemen was seen by an AFP journalist a few kilometers from the Hong Kong border, where US President Donald Trump has called on Beijing to settle the crisis “humanely” in the face of protests.

After two months of demonstrations against the pro-Beijing executive in Hong Kong, men in uniform gathered at a sports stadium in Shenzhen, a city on the edge of the Hong Kong Autonomous Region.

An AFP correspondent said he also saw armored trucks and armored vehicles.

An AFP journalist saw thousands of men in military uniforms running through rows and practicing running, while others toured motorcycles on the stadium, seven kilometers from the Hong Kong border.

The reason for the presence of the troops is not known, but Beijing has in recent days signaled the possibility of an intervention to restore order to the former British colony, while state media broadcast video footage of military convoys heading for Shenzhen.

The military police, believed to be affiliated with them, are under the central military commission run by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the face of the threat of intervention, the US president pressured China by linking two hot dossiers, one diplomat – the crisis in Hong Kong and the other an economic one – trade negotiations between the two countries.

“In China, millions of jobs are going to go to duty-free countries and thousands of companies are leaving the country,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “China certainly wants an agreement (with the United States) but to act humanely with Hong Kong first,” he said.

– “personal meeting” –

After that, Trump wrote another tweet with a different tone, stressing that Chinese President Xi Jinping can solve the crisis resulting from the confrontation between the government and the protesters in Hong Kong in a “humane” way, and proposed a meeting with the Chinese leader.

“I know Chinese President Xi Jinping very well. He is a great leader who is respected by his people. He is also good ‘on hard issues’,” Trump said. “I have no doubt that President Xi wants to resolve the Hong Kong problem quickly and in a humane way. He is capable.” To do so. ”

He added the words “personal encounter?” At the end of his tweet, he seemed to go directly to the Chinese president.

The president faces criticism from all sides in the United States for his stance on pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong and avoiding criticism of Beijing in the context of the unprecedented crisis in the city.

So far, the Trump administration has been cautious in its stance on the crisis in Hong Kong, although it has been engaged in months of direct trade confrontation with China, military diplomatic competition in the Asia-Pacific region and human rights disagreements.

Earlier, a State Department spokesman called on Beijing to “respect the degree of independence” of the former British colony.

“The United States firmly urges Beijing to honor the commitments it made in the Sino-British Joint Declaration to allow Hong Kong to exercise a high degree of autonomy,” he said in a statement received by AFP.

The 1984 Sino-British Declaration contains the rules for Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997. It requires the region to enjoy “a high degree of autonomy, except in the areas of foreign affairs and defense,” and to have its own judicial, legislative and executive systems.

China has reacted angrily to demonstrators on Wednesday when two Chinese were beaten at the airport of the autonomous region, calling it “semi-terrorist acts”, while Washington expressed concern over the movement of the Chinese army on the border.

It is the second time this week that China has called the protests “terrorism” as part of its veiled warnings that raise fears of its use of force to stop unrest.

Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997. But the region of seven million people retained a special status of autonomy in principle and a currency different from the Chinese yuan.

The Chinese army, which has a garrison of thousands of troops in Hong Kong, should not interfere in the affairs of the region, but it could be if asked by the Chinese authorities.

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