onald Trump has some advice for Xi Jinping about how to bring months of protests in Hong Kong to a conclusion… though we have a feeling that the Chinese president won’t follow up on his American counterpart’s recommendation.
“If President Xi would meet directly and personally with the protesters, there would be a happy and enlightened ending to the Hong Kong problem. I have no doubt!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
The proposal followed another tweet earlier in the day where Trump called Xi “a good man in a ‘tough business'” who wants to “quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem.” He then suggested “personal meeting?” which some took to mean that Trump himself wanted to personally negotiate an end to the crisis, but apparently, he was instead advocating for Xi to meet with the protesters face-to-face.
If President Xi would meet directly and personally with the protesters, there would be a happy and enlightened ending to the Hong Kong problem. I have no doubt! https://t.co/eFxMjgsG1K
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
That recommendation appears extremely unlikely to be taken up by Beijing for a multitude of reasons, one of those being that the protests in Hong Kong, which began 10 weeks ago over a controversial extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, has no obvious leaders to negotiate with.
Such a meeting would also echo back to the recently-deceased Chinese leader Li Peng meeting with student leaders on May 18, 1989, during the Tiananmen Square protest movement. That meeting came to nothing with Li refusing to back down on the government’s designation of the protests as unrest. Several weeks later, troops and tanks rolled into town.
Over the last month, Beijing has labeled some of the protesters in Hong Kong as “violent extremists” and “rioters” who are starting to “show signs of terrorism.”
Trump has been tweeting quite a lot about China and Hong Kong recently. On Tuesday, he tweeted that intelligence officials had informed him that the Chinese government was moving troops to the HK border.