HONG KONG (Reuters) – While the political crisis in Hong Kong is seething with heated protests, the Hong Kong People's Liberation Army (China) has released a video with recordings of "anti-riot" exercises warning that violence is "absolutely inadmissible".
Protesters gather in the courts of the East to support the arrested anti-counterattack demonstrators accused of typhoon Wipha in Hong Kong, China. July 31, 2019. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu
The Three-Minute Video On the garrison's official Weibo social media account in Hong Kong, late Wednesday shootings of troops firing weapons and rockets, as well as light tanks, attack helicopters, and Rocket launchers released.
The PLA has stayed in the barracks since the April protests began, and the Hong Kong police have faced massive and often violent protests in the Asian financial center.
On Wednesday, 44 people were charged with rioting. For the first time, the authorities have claimed the riot.
In a sequence in the PLA video titled "Anti-Riot Drill Footage," troops with shields and sticks advance to protesters and shoot rifles in the air. Tear gas and water cannons were raining on the demonstrators as armored personnel carriers raced forward with battering rams and the troops laid barbed wire spools on the ground.
"All consequences are at your own risk," a soldier shouted during the video clip in Cantonese, the most important Chinese dialect in Hong Kong.
A red flag with the words "Warning. Stop the indictment or we use force. "Was also held up in the air, much as the Hong Kong police have been doing protests for a long time.
At the end of the clip, several demonstrators are handcuffed and taken away.
Hong Kong plunged into its biggest political crisis since the return of the former British colony to Chinese rule in 1997 with a wave of protests against a suspended extradition law that sends people to Chinese Communist-controlled courts in mainland China
The protests that began in April have now turned into more sweeping demands, including the resignation of Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam, calling for a "free Hong Kong".
As tensions continue to rise in Hong Kong as demonstrators and police clashes become increasingly violent, the Chinese authorities have strongly condemned the violence, reminding them that the Hong Kong authorities request support from the PLA garrison in Hong Kong when needed can.
Diplomats and foreign security analysts are watching the situation closely, but believe Beijing has little appetite for using the PLA on the streets of Hong Kong.
The role of PLA in Hong Kong has long been one of the most sensitive elements in handing over the city to China.
In the midst of growing speculative forces that could be used to suppress violence, police chiefs insisted that their forces were able to maintain order.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule with a guarantee of its freedoms, including the right to protest and an independent judiciary that has not existed on the mainland for at least 50 years.
Under its constitution, the Basic Law, Defense and Foreign Policy are administered by party leaders of the Communist Party in Beijing.
Chen Daoxiang, commander of the PLA garrison in Hong Kong, said Wednesday that the violent protests in Hong Kong are "absolutely inadmissible", the state-run daily China Daily said.
At a reception on the occasion of the PLA's 92nd Anniversary, Chen said the protests would "put to the test the end result of the principle of" one country, two systems. "
He added that the PLA would "resolutely protect" the sovereignty and security of the country and the stability of Hong Kong.
In July, Reuters reported that Chen had assured a Pentagon official that despite the political upheavals, Chinese troops would not interfere with the city's affairs.
coverage by James Pomfret, Greg Torode and Vimvam Tong; Edited by Michael Perry