Washington / Hong Kong (AP) - US President Donald Trump has warned China against the use of violence in light of the recent mass protests in Hong Kong.
If it came to violence against the demonstrators, it would be "very difficult" to agree on a trade agreement with China, said Trump on Sunday afternoon (local time). The situation on Monday was calm in the former British colony, which today belongs to China as a special administrative area.
More than a million people went peacefully to the streets again on Sunday in Hong Kong for new protests. The organizers even spoke of more than 1.7 million. There were no figures from the police. For the 31st of August - Saturday next week - the organizers called for a new rally. The protests for freedom and democracy have been going on for more than two and a half months.
Internationally there are concerns that the People's Republic could solve the conflict in the 7.5-million-inhabitant city by force. Trump said he had confidence in President Xi Jinping to settle the crisis in a human way. China's state and party leaders did not comment on the conflict. There were numerous warnings from the state-run press in the direction of Hong Kong.
Referring to Xi, Trump continued, "It would be much harder for me to sign an agreement if he used violence in Hong Kong." The US and China are in a bitter commercial conflict. Asked about US support for the demonstrators in Hong Kong, Trump avoided. The pictures were incredible. "These are huge crowds."
The protest movement had not been deterred by heavy rain, loudly demanding freedom and democracy. At the rally, the Alliance called on the Civil Human Rights Front, which had already stopped plans by the Prussian city government for a extradition law with previous protests. Meanwhile, the protest is increasingly directed against Beijing directly.
Hong Kong has been part of China since the departure of the British in 1997. As a Special Administrative Region, it actually guaranteed extensive special rights until 2047. Many are afraid of it now. Key demands of the demonstrators are free elections and an independent investigation of police violence in earlier demonstrations. But there were also calls for independence from the crowd.