Aug. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to find a solution to ongoing unrest in Hong Kong, amid fears Beijing is preparing for a possible military intervention.
China has moved armored personnel carriers to a stadium in Shenzhen, near the border with Hong Kong. Troops were seen carrying riot shields, batons and other weapons as they gathered around the city's Bay Sports Center and satellite imagery showed military vehicles on the sidelines.
Chinese military equipment has been spotted for weeks in spite of denials from Beijing that it's preparing to intervene in mass demonstrations in Hong Kong. Chinese officials have said the equipment is part of a training exercise to mark the Oct. 1 anniversary of the Communist Party taking power.
CNN reported an officer in Shenzhen said the troops were there for a temporary assignment.
Trump praised Xi in a tweet Wednesday and suggested meeting to discuss the clashes in Hong Kong.
"I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong Problem, he can do it," he said. "Personal meeting?"
The U.S. State Department has urged China to allow Hong Kong to exercise a degree of autonomy and freedom of expression.
Trump has also linked the unrest with the year-long trade conflict between Washington and Beijing, saying China was "eating" U.S. tariffs through devaluing its currency and "pouring" money into their system. He said a move to delay some tariffs helps China more than the United States.
Trump said China wants to make a deal to end the trade war but should be allowed first to find a solution to the situation in Hong Kong.
"Millions of jobs are being lost in China to other non-tariffed countries," he said. "Thousands of companies are leaving. Of course, China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!"
Trump said earlier this week the Chinese military is building up along the Hong Kong border.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., chastised the president Wednesday for not standing up to China during the escalation of human rights abuses it's committing against the citizens of Hong Kong.
"It is unacceptable that President Donald Trump is not standing up to Beijing as it intensifies its crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong," he said via Twitter. "He needs to make it clear that America stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Hong Kong who want democracy and freedom."
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and ranking Republican Michael McCaul issued a joint bipartisan statement over concerns the Chinese military may crack down on protesters as it did in the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989.
"Thirty years after the Chinese Communist Party's brutal massacre of peaceful democratic protestors in Tiananmen Square, we are concerned that China would consider again brutally putting down peaceful protests," they said. "We urge China to avoid making such a mistake, which would be met with universal condemnation and swift consequences."
Hong Kong has seen chaos since early June when protesters rallied against a controversial bill to allow China to send fugitives on the island to face Beijing courts.
Following accusations of police brutality and inaction against the Hong Kong government, the protests evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement that have since encompassed more than just having the extradition bill withdrawn.