See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Politics

Chinese troops can be deployed to restore order in Hong Kong

A Beijing military attache said in an apparent warning to protesters.


Written by

Updated: July 25, 2019

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said on Wednesday (Jul 24) that its forces stationed in Hong Kong can be deployed to maintain public order in the city – a move branded by analysts as a clear warning to protesters who are seen by Beijing as becoming increasingly provocative.

Such a deployment of troops would have to come at the request of the Hong Kong government, according to Hong Kong’s Garrison Law, which PLA spokesman Wu Qian referenced, noting that article 14 has “clear stipulations”. He did not elaborate further.

“We are closely following the developments in Hong Kong, especially the violent attack against the central government liaison office by radicals on July 21,” Colonel Wu said at a 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. The Pearl of the Orient is not to be defiled.”

Article 14 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. They would then 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.

Wednesday’s comments from China’s defence ministry come amid what Beijing views as increasingly radical actions from protesters in Hong Kong, who are opposing an extradition Bill that could allow criminal suspects to be sent to the mainland.

The territory has been convulsed by protests over the Bill for seven consecutive weeks.

Protesters have clashed with police and stormed Hong Kong’s parliament, the Legislative Council (LegCo).

But it is their latest act of protest that has truly rattled Beijing and – according to one analyst who wanted to remain anonymous – come “close to their bottom line”.

On Sunday, demonstrators besieged and vandalised Beijing’s Liaison Office, defacing the national emblem.

It sparked a chorus of condemnation from the mainland, with state media, the head of the Liaison Office, and the Chinese foreign ministry, denouncing the violence.

Beijing has also allowed images of the defaced national emblem to circulate on highly regulated Chinese social media, further stoking public anger.

“On some degree this has become a violent movement – the attacks on the Liaison Office and LegCo, most countries will not be able to allow or accept this. (The comments from the defence ministry) are a warning to Hong Kong’s protesters,” said Nanjing University’s Professor Zhu Feng, an expert on the Chinese military.

Watching protesters vandalising the Liaison Office, would have disturbed the Chinese leaders and reminded them of how LegCo was stormed, said analysts, adding that it would be “disastrous” if something similar happened to the Liaison Office.

While it is keeping the military option on the table, Beijing is taking “a very cautious and disciplined approach to Hong Kong, and depending on its police force to keep protests under control for now”, said Professor Lau Siu Kai, the vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies.

Beijing is aware that sending in military forces unnecessarily “can only intensify popular grievance”, said Mr James Char, an expert on the Chinese military at Nanyang Technological University.

“The situation in Hong Kong has grown worse over the past few weeks, but has not spun out of control. As long as the Hong Kong police force is able to maintain law and order, the PLA will not be activated in Hong Kong anytime soon.”

On Wednesday, 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 Colonel Wu.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Politics

North Korea beefs up self-defense capabilities in military reorganization

The North have been making many changes ahead of talks. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the top military decision-making body to accelerate the development of self-defense capabilities ahead of key events that will decide its national strategy, its state media reported Sunday. Discussions on ways to bolster its military capabilities through organizational restructuring and personnel reshuffle were highlighted during the third expanded meeting of the seventh central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party. Details on what measures were discussed were not disclosed. “At the meeting, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un


By The Korea Herald
December 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Modi defends citizenship decision

PM Modi says it has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, that unity in diversity is integral to India while addressing ‘Aabhar Rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan today to kick start Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi Assembly Elections campaign slated for early next year, amid protests in Delhi and all over the country against the contentious Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizenship(NRC). Modi raised slogan of ‘vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta’ (Unity in diversity is India’s speciality). PM Modi while giving his party and government’s view on CAA and NRC said, “Muslims being misled, I have always ensured that documents will never come in way of development schemes and their beneficiaries.” Citizenship law and NRC have nothing to do with Indian Muslims or with Indian citizens, he clarified. “We have never asked


By The Statesman
December 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Rallies rage on in India over citizenship law

Thousands of students flood streets of Delhi; Assam state sees five protesters shot dead. Thousands of university students flooded the streets of India’s capital yesterday, while a southern state government led a march and demonstrators held a silent protest in the north-east, to protest against a new law giving citizenship to non-Muslims who entered India illegally to flee religious persecution in several neighbouring countries. The protests in New Delhi followed a night of violent clashes between the police and demonstrators at Jamia Millia Islamia University. People who student organisers said were not students set three buses on fire and the police stormed the university library, firing tear gas at students crouched under desks. Members of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party said opposition parties were using th


By The Straits Times
December 17, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

China-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit


By China Daily
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Biegun arrives in Seoul amid deadlock in NK-US nuclear talks

Pyongyang says it conducted “another crucial test” at Sohae site. US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a “close coordination” with allies amid the deadlock in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang just weeks before the communist regime’s year-end deadline. A day before, North Korea issued statements to announce that it had carried out “another crucial test” at a satellite launching site, warning the United States to “hold off” any action to “rattle” the regime. During his three-day trip here, the US special envoy is expected to meet with officials here to discuss on the


By The Korea Herald
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des


By Daily Star
December 16, 2019