Hong Kong braces for more protests as world leaders urge calm

T-shirts seen as supportive of the Hong Kong protest movement are being sold on Amazon

Beijing has accused the United States of colluding "with radical criminal elements" and of being "involved in anti-China criminal activities" in Hong Kong amid reports that USA diplomats in the autonomous territory have been meeting with and even helping to coordinate protesters.

The Chinese government has repeatedly referred to the demonstrations as "near terrorism" and described the protests as rioting, with legal experts saying Beijing might use anti-terror laws to quell the demonstrations. "I have no doubt!"

"If President Xi would meet directly and personally with the protesters, there would be a happy and enlightened ending to the Hong Kong problem". Hong Kong's government could ask for assistance from the PLA garrison to maintain order, and in that case the Chinese military must follow Hong Kong law.

Despite the Shenzhen deployments, several Western and Asian diplomats in Hong Kong said they believed China had little appetite for putting its forces onto Hong Kong's streets, and a USA official said on Wednesday the PAP activities appeared aimed at intimidating the protesters.

China's ambassador to the United Kingdom issued a warning to protesters on Thursday, saying Beijing will not "sit on its hands and watch" if the situation continues to deteriorate. On Wednesday, he doubled down on his support for Hong Kong's protesters after China accused him and House Majority Leader Nanci Pelosi of inciting "chaos" in Hong Kong.

The U.S. and China, the world's two biggest economies, are in the midst of contentious, drawn-out trade negotiations.

Hong Kong's protesters have been gearing up with increasingly protective equipment as clashes become more violent.

Trump went on Twitter late Wednesday to boast that his administration has the upper hand against Beijing in the trade negotiations. The Financial Times newspaper reported earlier in July that the US president had agreed with Xi at the Group of 20 summit in June to tone down criticism of China's handling of the crisis.

The CEO of Cathay Pacific Airways, one of Hong Kong's most prominent companies, resigned Friday following pressure by Beijing on the carrier over participation by some of its employees in the anti-government protests.

Claudia Rosett, a former WSJ reporter in Hong Kong, discusses the massive protests in Hong Kong.

"I think foreign parties have encouraged the unrest and escalated it", he said. He expressed the hope that no one would get hurt and "for liberty".

State-run media reported this week that the elements of the People's Armed Police (PAP), which is under the command of the Central Military Commission, were assembling in Shenzhen.

Ten weeks of confrontations between police and protesters have plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

FILE - Protesters use luggage trolleys to block the walkway to the departure gates during a demonstration at the Airport in Hong Kong, Aug. 13, 2019.

The Umbrella Movement protests of 2014 saw parts of the city come to standstill for 79 straight days as protesters demanded greater democracy. He also separately said on Tuesday that the "Hong Kong situation is a very tough situation". "Because it has a judicial system that's trustworthy, based on the English model that we know in this country, the courts are thought to be impartial", Bolton told VOA Contributor Greta Van Susteren.

The Friday edition of China's state-controlled Global Times tabloid also warned that China had the option to "forcefully intervene" and lashed out at what Beijing describes as US interference in Hong Kong.

China's nationalistic Global Times newspaper has said that there will not be a repeat of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in which hundreds - or even thousands - of people are believed to have been killed.

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