U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking out Chinese leader Xi Jinping for a personal meeting to resolve the ongoing crisis in Hong Kong.
“I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a ‘tough business,’” Trump wrote on Twitter on Aug. 15.
He added: “I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”
The Hong Kong crisis centers around a suspended but not withdrawn government bill that would allow any government, including mainland China, to request the extradition of anyone passing through Hong Kong.
Hongkongers fear that the bill threatens the city’s judicial independence, leaving everyone vulnerable to be trialed in China’s courts, which are notorious for the absence of rule of law.
Since June 9, millions of Hongkongers have taken to the streets demanding that their local government fully withdraw the bill.
Ten weeks later, what the government viewed as a simple piece of legislation has backfired into a leadership crisis, with public anger rising over the police’s use of excessive force to disperse protesting crowds who say that their concerns have not been addressed by the government.
Most recently on Aug. 11, local riot police fired rubber bullets towards protesters at close range against protocol. They also fired tear gas inside the enclosed area of a metro station, risking lethal effects for those protesters.