Hong Kong, Sep 30: China has over doubled its ground security forces’ deployment in Hong Kong, according to security experts and foreign representatives, preparing for potential civil unrest in the world financial hub, ahead of its national day celebration on October 1.
China’s State Council Information Office, Ministry of National Defense, and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office didn’t respond to questions from Reuters.
Earlier on August 29, China has ordered its military to deploy a new batch of armed personnel into Hong Kong, terming the development as “routine”, the state-run media reported on Thursday, as pro-democracy protesters in the territory continue to ramp up the Asian financial centre.
State media described the early-hour troop movement as routine, while Western and Asian diplomats watching PLA actions in Hong Kong had been expecting it. Though the rotation move was described as routine, its timing is expected to strike nerves in Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region.
China has in recent weeks ratcheted up the pressure in the city after it was disclosed Beijing’s armed forces were summoning across its border in Shenzhen, according to Al-Jazeera.
Beijing had also cautioned it wouldn’t “sit by and watch” as the civil unrest in the territory continues against a controversial extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong to send suspects to the mainland China for court prosecution.
The People’s Liberation Army in Hong Kong was cited by state-run Xinhua news agency as saying the Chinese military is expected to make a greater “new” contributions in maintaining Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.
The Chinese troops have completed their routine rotation with maritime, land and air forces in Hong Kong, the report said. It has around 8,000 to 10,000 Chinese troops deployed between bases in Hong Kong’s army barracks and in southern China.