For the life of him, US President Donald Trump can’t explain why critics would associate Washington with Hong Kong’s unrest, expressing bewilderment in a tweet just before sounding the alarm about a Chinese invasion of the city.
In a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, the president observed: “Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?”
Answering his own question, perhaps, he followed up that missive with another tweet five minutes later, ominously warning that “Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong.”
Preparations for Chinese military drills in the border town of Shenzhen, however, were reported on Monday by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CPC) own media arm – the troop’s movements did not require secret intelligence to divine.
According to the CPC-affiliated Global Times, the large-scale movements in Shenzhen are tied to exercises, rather than an invasion. Similar drills were carried out by the city’s police force earlier this month, involving some 12,000 officers.
Additional answers to the president’s inquiry might be found in a recent meeting between American diplomat Julie Eadeh and Hong Kong’s protest leaders, prompting suspicions that Washington may have a greater hand in the dispute than it lets on. While the State Department defended the visit, arguing it was something “American diplomats do every single day,”some remained unconvinced by the reassurance.
China Daily columnist Chen Weihua also noted that “It would be hard to imagine the US reaction if Chinese [diplomats] were meeting leaders of Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter or Never Trump protesters.”
Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, told RT that the US government has long been involved with Hong Kong’s protest movement, adding “it’s widely known that the US, through its National Endowment for Democracy, has bankrolled a lot of these political parties and political leaders.”
McAdams explained that one of the protest leaders seen meeting with US diplomat Eadeh last week was “heavily involved in the 2014 protests” in Hong Kong and maintained close ties to Washington.