Chinese police
© Reuters/Tyrone Siu
Any violence used against "peaceful protesters" in Hong Kong would be a "mistake" for China and will trigger a "swift" response, a congressional foreign affairs panel has warned, insisting Beijing is responsible for the unrest.

The ranking members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee - Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) - issued the warning in a statement on Wednesday, drawing parallels with 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square that ended in bloodshed, also known as the 'June Fourth Incident'.

"We urge China to avoid making such a mistake, which would be met with universal condemnation and swift consequences," the lawmakers said.

The statement also made the case that "No foreign powers are fomenting this dissent," arguing Beijing's policies are the "root" of the problem, and dismissed last week's meeting between Hong Kong's protest leaders and US consulate official Julie Eadeh, who was "simply doing [her] job."

While it is not clear what Eadeh and the protest figures discussed during the visit, the coordination with an American diplomat - reminiscent of previous US-backed "color revolutions" around the world - has raised questions about Washington's role in Hong Kong's unrest.

US President Donald Trump warned in a tweet on Tuesday that Beijing was amassing forces along the border with Hong Kong, citing US intelligence, however the troop's movements were reported a day prior by the ruling Chinese Communist Party's own media outlet, which characterized them as part of a military exercise.

Responding to increasingly harsh statements, the Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday said the United States should not "stick their noses in our affairs," and insisted that Hong Kong is a Chinese territory, not "American" or "English."