The escalation of large-scale anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong resulted in the shutdown of its international airport over the past two days and violent confrontations with police at the hands of what many suspect are law enforcement infiltrators. Although the government agreed to informally withdraw the bill, people are demanding that it be officially scrubbed from the record.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted in a series of posts that China must work humanely with Hong Kong before reaching a trade deal with the United States.
Trump also addressed the Hong Kong issue directly to Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying that he has "ZERO doubt" that the Chinese leader could solve the problem quickly.
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.” I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019
On Tuesday, China's permanent mission to the United Nations accused the protesters of having displayed the "tendency of resorting to terrorism" by destroying public facilities, paralyzing Hong Kong's airport, blocking public transport and using lethal weapons. Multiple reports have documented the presence of agent provocateurs in the employ of Hong Kong security forces, however, leading many to claim that the charges of violence against largely peaceful protesters were manufactured to justify the crackdown.
Chinese authorities accused the United States of fomenting the protests, and made public the personal information of a US diplomat who was pictured among the protesters.
Multiple instances of violence have occurred over ten weeks of demonstrations. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse unauthorized rallies, while protesters used various kinds of improvised means, including bricks and eggs.
Several countries have expressed concern, advising citizens against traveling to Hong Kong amid the escalation of public unrest.