US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration favoured the right of people in Hong Kong to protest peacefully, but stopped short of lending his full support to the movement, now in its 11th week.
Pompeo expressed his thoughts while speaking with broadcaster CBS on Tuesday.
“Those folks who have the desire in their hearts to protest to speak out on behalf of their own freedom their own liberty can do so should do so in a peaceful way.
“And, the Chinese government should respect their right to speak out in the way they are speaking,” he said.
Pompeo said that China had made a promise of one-country, two systems in Hong Kong, and Beijing showing it would live up its own commitments would be vital in the bilateral relationship with the U.S., including on trade.
U.S. President Donald Trump has spoken out in favour of “liberty” and “democracy” in Hong Kong while steering clear of overt support for the protesters.
He has warned that a violent crackdown would scupper the prospects for a trade deal.
Saying he would like to see the situation in Hong Kong worked out in a “humanitarian fashion,” the U.S. president has urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jingping to sit down with the protest leaders and find an agreement.
Protesters have occupied streets and transport hubs in Hong Kong since early June, when mass demonstrations began against legislation that put citizens at risk of extradition to China.
Trump has expressed concern about Chinese military assets seemingly amassing near the border with Hong Kong, a former British colony. (dpa/NAN)
– Aug. 20, 2019 @ 16:30 GMT |