US President Donald Trump said Thursday he is “very concerned” about the risk of a violent Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, but that he would soon be talking to President Xi Jinping.

“I am very concerned,” he told reporters in New Jersey before traveling to a campaign rally.

Trump urged Xi 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.”

Trump added, “I know it’s not the kind of thing he does.”

He also said that a phone call was scheduled for him to talk “soon with President Xi.” (AFP)