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China may deploy troops to contain Hong Kong protests

Last update: 24/07/2019
ANKARA, July 24 (Bernama) -- China may use the People's Liberation Army (PLA) personnel deployed in Hong Kong to "contain" the ongoing anti-government protests, Anadolu Agency reported, quoting an official.

Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian told reporters in Beijing that if the Hong Kong government requests PLA, “it can be deployed to Hong Kong to maintain social order”, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday.

The intervention by the army is seen as China’s hardening stance against ongoing anti-extradition bill demonstrations in the autonomous region.

“Sunday’s siege of the mainland government’s liaison office in the city was intolerable,” Wu said.

Hong Kong is witnessing mass protests against Chief Executive Carrie Lam's move to introduce an amendment which will legalise extradition of suspects to mainland China, Macao and Taiwan.

The protests started early in June and have witnessed incidents of violence including attack on the office of China’s liaison officer in the region.

“Some behavior of the radical protesters is challenging the authority of the central government and the bottom line of one country, two systems. This is intolerable,” he warned.

The Lam government has since declared the bill “dead” and postponed its second reading before it is put to vote but has refused to completely withdraw it from the 70-member Legislative Council.

The PLA has its personnel deployed in the autonomous region called the “People’s Liberation Army’s Hong Kong garrison”.

The law allows Hong Kong to ask the central government for assistance from the PLA for the maintenance of public order.

The global business hub Hong Kong is under special administrative control of China since July 1, 1997 after Britain handed it over to Beijing.

-- BERNAMA



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