Trump calls Hong Kong protests "riots"

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 2, 2019 - Duration: 01:57s

Trump calls Hong Kong protests "riots"

U.S. President Donald Trump called the protests that have rocked Hong Kong for months "riots" -- something activists on the streets have tried in vain to stop the Hong Kong government doing.

Trump calls Hong Kong protests "riots"

SOUNDBITE (English) DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT, SAYING: "Well, something's probably happening with Hong Kong, because when you look at, you know, what's going on, they've had riots for a long period of time..." U.S. President Donald Trump has labelled protests in Hong Kong "riots".

Which will rile the activists calling for their own government to stop describing their demonstrations that way.

Activists who have used the American and British flags as rallying symbols in their protests.

Trump also signalled a hands-off approach -- saying China would have to deal with them alone.

This video warns what protesters could be up against.

It was released by the Hong Kong garrison of China's People's Liberation Army and it shows footage of so-called anti-riot exercises.

While Beijing's top brass warned violence is "absolutely impermissible".

Police, rather than the army, have so far dealt with the massive protests over the past few months -- one of the gravest popular challenges ever to the Communist Party rulers in Beijing.

Meanwhile a wave of protests planned for the weekend started Friday night with government employees joining them for the first time.

Many Hong Kongers fear the relentless march of mainland control over their lives.

The protests began in reaction to a now-suspended extradition bill, which would have seen residents subject to trial on mainland China.

A threat to the independent judiciary and other sweeping freedoms Hong Kong kept when it returned to Chinese from British rule in 1997.

Protests have widened now to demand greater democracy and the resignation of Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam.

A mass strike is also planned for Monday, closing down transport, schools and companies and bringing the city to a standstill.

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