New Delhi, Nov 22 : US President Donald Trump made a sensational claim on Friday, saying "Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes" had he not intervened with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump's comment sent global shockwaves as there have been apprehensions about China implementing a Tiananmen Square kind of brute force in Hong Kong where protests have been raging for months now.
In a media interview, Trump said President Xi Jinping did not send Chinese troops against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong only because of his intervention.
"If it weren't for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes," Trump said.
"Xi has a million soldiers standing outside of Hong Kong, who are not going in only because I asked him, 'Please don't do that. You will be making a big mistake. It will have a tremendous negative impact on the trade deal'," Trump said in the interview.
Hong Kong's protests started in June this year against a proposal to allow extradition to mainland China. Protests began as there were apprehensions that this could undermine judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
Till 1997, Hong Kong was ruled by Britain as a colony before it was returned to China. Under the "one country, two systems" arrangement, it has more autonomy and rights than the mainland.