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As a confrontation between Hong Kong protesters and Chinese authorities escalates, Donald Trump has decided to turn up the heat a little himself. Trump had been oddly quiet about the pro-democracy protests in China’s administrative state, even though they have adopted the American flag as one of their symbols of protest. Over the last twenty-four hours, however, Trump has used his Twitter feed to urge Xi Jinping to have a “personal meeting” with protesters to resolve the standoff — and hinted at US trade action if Xi plans any other kind of response.
This began last night:
Meeting - Offer - Trump - Xi - Confusion
“Personal meeting” could have been interpreted as an offer by Trump to meet with Xi. It caused some confusion in Beijing, as the official mouthpiece South China Morning Post hinted earlier today. This morning, Trump made his meaning more clear:
While Trump tried wooing Xi on Twitter, the administration began taking a tougher public stand on Beijing’s response to Hong Kong protests:
Stance - Wednesday - Debate - White - House
His apparently tougher stance on Wednesday followed an internal debate within the White House and State Department over whether the United States was looking too compliant as the Chinese appeared to be preparing for a crackdown.
A source familiar with the deliberations, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that while an even-handed approach was smart, it was not the right signal to send in this case.
China - Trump - Suggestion - Idea - Beijing
China thus far has not responded to Trump’s suggestion. It might be an awkward idea, especially since Beijing has been building such a cult of personality around Xi that to meet with him...
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