US President Donald Trump has said that he is "concerned" about the risk of a violent Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, but that he would soon be talking to President Xi Jinping.
Trump told reporters at the Morristown airport in New Jersey that he will speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping "very soon". Trump issued the statement on Thursday, as China warned that Beijing would not "sit by and watch" as the unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese city continues.
Trump urged Xi Jinping to negotiate directly with pro-democracy protesters, saying: "I would be willing to bet that if he sat down with the protesters... I'll bet he'd work it out in 15 minutes."
"I know it's not the kind of thing he does," the US president added. He also said that a phone call was scheduled for him to talk "soon with President Xi."
"We'll be speaking to him very soon. I really believe he can work it out. I know him well. If he wants to he can work that out in a very humane fashion."
The weeks-long Hong Kong protests were sparked by the opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the mainland, but have since morphed into a wider - sometimes violent - call for democratic rights. Protesters have accused authorities of carrying out violent crackdown and arrests.