US President Donald Trump has suggested meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the deepening political crisis engulfing Hong Kong.
In a tweet Mr Trump said he was confident Mr Xi could deal with Hong Kong’s increasingly fractious protests “quickly and humanely”.
He wrote that Mr Xi “is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people”.
The president signed off the tweet with a question: “Personal meeting?”
Mr Trump’s comments come after weeks of tumultuous pro-democracy protests sparked by opposition to an extradition bill in Hong Kong.
Violent clashes between police and protesters broke out on Tuesday night, after days of peaceful demonstrations at Hong Kong International Airport.
The Chinese government has strongly criticised the protesters, calling their behaviour “close to terrorism”. A direct military intervention by China is feared by activists but thought unlikely by analysts.
Separately, the US president’s national security advisor, John Bolton, warned China to tread “carefully” in Hong Kong “because people in America remember Tiananmen Square”.
A repeat of the military crackdown on the 1989 student-led protests in China would be a “big mistake”, he told Voice of America.