United States President Donald Trump on Sunday warned China that any Tiananmen Square-like crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong would damage trade negotiations between the two countries, AFP reported.
“I think it would be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean, if it is another Tiananmen Square,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey. “I think it is a very hard thing to do if there’s violence.”
At present, Beijing and Washington are trying to revive high-level talks to end their trade war. The US and China have engaged in a tariff war for over a year. Trump has pledged to impose 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports from September 1 in the latest in a series of such actions. In response, China claimed Washington was “deliberately destroying international order”. Last week, Trump said India and China were no longer “developing nations” and could not continue taking advantage at the World Trade Organisation.
Hong Kong has witnessed anti-government protests since June. Over the weekend, peaceful protests took place after weeks of violent clashes between demonstrators and the police. Tens of thousands of people turned up for a march on a rain-drenched Sunday, defying a police order banning a protest march. The protests were initially organised to oppose a bill that would have allowed extraditions to China. They evolved into a backlash against the city’s government and the Communist government in Beijing.
Last week, Beijing had claimed that criminals and agitators were stirring violence, encouraged by foreign powers such as Britain and the United States. On August 13, US President Donald Trump said the country’s intelligence agencies had informed him about the Chinese government moving soldiers to Hong Kong’s border.