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30 Aug, 2019 23:19

China response to Hong Kong would be ‘much more violent’ without US trade talks - Trump

China response to Hong Kong would be ‘much more violent’ without US trade talks - Trump

US President Donald Trump has said that the US-China trade talks has been a restraining factor in Beijing’s handling of the Hong Kong protests, vowing to “win” the trade war while praising his tactic of using tariffs.

“I think if it weren't for the trade talks, Hong Kong would have been in much bigger trouble. I think it would be much more violent,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Friday, as he prepared to depart to Camp David for consultations ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s landfall.

“Because of what I’m doing with trade, that’s very much keeping down the temperature in Hong Kong,” he added, noting that he told the Chinese leadership to “handle it in a humane way.”

“We’re going to be learning a lot over the next two or three days,” Trump said, without elaborating.

Trump launched a tariff war with Beijing last year, slapping duties on billions of dollars on Chinese imports. China has retaliated in kind, and multiple rounds of trade talks between the two countries’ envoys since have not resulted in a deal.

While Trump has mostly stayed clear of dragging the Hong Kong issue into the ongoing trade spat, at least publicly, he has repeatedly attempted to lecture Beijing on how it should deal with the unrest.Trump suggested Chinese President Xi Jinping should sit down with the protesters, and sounded the alarm on Twitter last week about the Chinese troops allegedly moving towards the border with Hong Kong.

While the foreign meddling attempts have drawn rebuke from China, Trump brushed off the criticism, saying he “can’t imagine why” someone would associate Washington with the Hong Kong protests.

Also on rt.com ‘Can’t imagine why’: Trump has no idea why anyone would relate Hong Kong protests to US meddling

A former British colony for over a century, Hong Kong was restored to Chinese rule in 1997. Protests in the autonomous city began in late March over a proposed law allowing extradition to the mainland. Although the authorities have suspended the bill since, the demonstrators have made additional demands for democracy, while brandishing US and UK flags and clashing with police. 

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