Beijing says Chinese troops in Hong Kong can be deployed to restore order, warns against Taiwan independence

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People's Liberation Army soldiers at an open day at Stonecutters Island naval base in Hong Kong on June 30, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

Chinese armed forces stationed in Hong Kong can be deployed to maintain public order at the request of the city’s government, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has said.

PLA spokesman Wu Qian said at a press conference on Wednesday (July 24) that China’s military has been closely watching the demonstrations in Hong Kong, especially the protests last Sunday that saw Beijing’s representative office in the special administrative region being defaced.

“We are closely following the developments in Hong Kong, especially the violent attack against the central government liaison office by radicals on July 21,” Senior Colonel Wu said at the briefing to introduce China’s new defence white paper.

“Some behaviour of the radical protesters is challenging the authority of the central government and the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems’, and that is absolutely intolerable.”

(Editorial note: As a warning to the CCP army, among many crimes of the CCP, violations of human rights and restriction on free speech have broken the bottom line of humanity, and that is absolutely intolerable.)

Responding to a question on how the Chinese military will handle the Hong Kong situation, Col Wu said “Article 14 of the garrison law has clear stipulations”, without further elaboration.

The Article in Hong Kong’s Garrison Law states that the city’s government can ask the central government for assistance from the PLA’s Hong Kong garrison to maintain public order and for disaster relief.

Should Beijing approve, the garrison would send the troops to carry out the specified tasks, and then immediately return to their station.

The troops would be under the command of the garrison’s highest commander, or an officer authorised by the commander with arrangements made by the Hong Kong government.

Col Wu’s remarks mirrored earlier comments made by other officials such as the head of Beijing’s Liaison Office Wang Zhimin and the Chinese foreign ministry, which said on Tuesday that the “extreme, illegal violence…seriously challenged the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems'”.

The defence ministry also had a stern warning for those seeking independence for Taiwan, calling it a “dead end”.

“If anyone dares to try to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will certainly not hesitate to fight and resolutely defend the sovereign unity and territorial integrity of the country,” said Col Wu.

Straittimes

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