President Donald Trump said Aug. 13 that U.S. intelligence has informed him that the Chinese regime is moving troops to the border with Hong Kong.
“Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong,” Trump wrote.
“Everyone should be calm and safe!”
Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019
Trump’s tweet comes as protests in Hong Kong intensified, with protesters taking over terminals at the city’s international airport for the fifth day in opposition to police brutality and the government’s response to the extradition bill crisis.
The airport authority began suspending flights on Monday due to the protester presence. Some flights resumed on Tuesday morning, but by the end of the day, over 300 flights from 33 airlines were canceled, with no flights taking off or landing starting from the afternoon, effectively shutting down one of the world’s busiest transport hubs.
The mass protests which began more than two months ago in opposition to an extradition bill that would allow people to be transferred to the mainland for trial has morphed into wider calls for democracy. The persistent unrest which has intensified in recent weeks has presented a huge challenge to the communist leadership in Beijing.
Over the past several days, Chinese officials and state media have escalated its rhetoric against the protesters, describing them as violent criminals who needed to be punished.
On Monday, hawkish state media Global Times posted a video on Twitter showing armored vehicles of China’s Armed Police assembling in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong.
“The People’s Armed Police have been assembling in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong, in advance of apparent large-scale exercises,” the Global Times said in the tweet.
The People’s Armed Police have been assembling in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong, in advance of apparent large-scale exercises, videos obtained by the Global Times have shown. https://t.co/3KgaXeHw3C pic.twitter.com/YXAORMay0W
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 12, 2019
The outlet also posted this message on Chinese social media: “if Hong Kong rioters cannot read the signal of having armed police gathering in Shenzhen, then they are asking for self-destruction.”
— Alexandre Krauss (@AlexandreKrausz) August 12, 2019
Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece The People’s Daily posted on social media that the Chinese Armed Police are in Shenzhen to prepare for “riots, disturbance, major violence and crime and terrorism-related social security issues.”
Earlier, Trump said the protests in Hong Kong were a “tricky situation.”
“I hope it works out for liberty,” he told reporters. “I hope it works out peacefully. I hope nobody gets hurts. I hope nobody gets killed.”