Washington: With Hong Kong witnessing the 10th consecutive weekend of demonstrations sparked by the government's contentious extradition bill that was later shelved under intense pressure, US President Donald Trump, citing intelligence sources, said on Tuesday that China was moving troops to its border with Hong Kong.
"Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!" Trump tweeted.
It is not yet clear if Trump was referring to fresh troop movements or the movements near the border which have already been reported in some sections of the media.
Meanwhile, anti-government protesters severely disrupted air travel for a second straight day on Tuesday, forcing Hong Kong International Airport to suspend check-in services for all departing flights.
China's civil aviation authority said Tuesday that it will increase transfer capacity at airports on the Pearl River delta (which includes cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai) to cope with the disruption of flights between China and Hong Kong.
The extradition bill, which would have enabled fugitives to be transferred from Hong Kong to mainland China to stand trial under the latter's opaque legal system, has morphed into a broader movement seeking to reverse a decline in freedoms in the ex-British colony.
However, violence between the police and demonstrators has been on the rise with the succession of protest marches.