US President Donald Trump claimed on Friday that were it not for him, Hong Kong "would have been obliterated in 14 minutes" by Chinese troops.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump said President Xi Jinping refrained from sending in the military against pro-democracy demonstrators in the semi-autonomous city only because he asked him to.
"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, are not going 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.'"