U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday protest-hit Hong Kong would be "obliterated" by China in minutes without him, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
"If it weren't for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes," said Trump in a phone interview with "Fox & Friends" morning show.
The U.S. president said his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has millions of soldiers waiting outside of Hong Kong, and added: "[The Chinese soldiers] aren’t going in only because I asked him".
"Please don’t do that. You will be making a big mistake," said Trump and warned China it would "have a tremendous negative impact" on ongoing trade negotiations with the U.S.
"He wants to make a trade deal," Trump added, referring to the Chinese leader.
"If it weren't for me, thousands of people would have been killed in Hong Kong right now," the U.S. president concluded.
Hong Kong, an autonomous region under China since 1998, has been witnessing protests since early June against the Carrie Lam administration’s move to legalize extradition to mainland China.
The government has already dumped the bill, but protests continue, as the protesters are demanding prosecution of Hong Kong police for violence.