US President Donald Trump has suggested a “personal meeting” with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the political crisis engulfing Hong Kong.
In a tweet Mr Trump said he had “ZERO doubt” that Mr Xi could “humanely solve the Hong Kong problem”.
He also tied the protests to a US trade deal with Beijing, in the face of ongoing trade tensions.
“Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!” he tweeted.
Mr Trump’s comments come after weeks of tumultuous pro-democracy protests sparked by opposition to an extradition bill in Hong Kong.
Critics feared the bill would bring Hong Kong more decisively under China’s control.
The bill has now been suspended, but the protests have evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement.
Hong Kong is part of China under a “one country, two systems” model that grants it a high level of autonomy.
It has its own legal system and judiciary and enjoys certain freedoms not seen in the mainland – Hong Kong and Macau for example, are the only places in Chinese territory where people can hold vigils commemorating Tiananmen Square.