US President Donald Trump has suggested a "personal meeting" with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the political crisis engulfing Hong Kong .

In a tweet Trump said he had "ZERO doubt" that Mr Xi could "humanely solve the Hong Kong problem".

He also tied the protests to a US trade deal with Beijing, in the face of ongoing trade tensions.

"Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!" he tweeted.

I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a “tough business.” I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?

Trump's comments come after weeks of tumultuous pro-democracy protests sparked by opposition to an extradition bill in Hong Kong .

Tensions between demonstrators and police have escalated in recent days, with Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warning the city could be "pushed into an abyss".

The Chinese government has strongly criticised the protesters, calling their behaviour "close to terrorism".