China Army In Hong Kong For 1st Time Since Pro-Democracy Protests Began

People’s Liberation Army troops stand guard inside Osborn Barracks in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Tong

Beijing: 

China on Saturday deployed its troops in Hong Kong for the first time since the unprecedented pro-democracy protests began in the former British colony more than five months ago over a proposed extradition law, with soldiers in plain clothes clearing the roadblocks.

Soldiers from the Hong Kong Garrison of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — the world’s largest military — have been deployed for the first time in more than five months of civil unrest in Hong Kong, as dozens marched from their Kowloon garrison to help clear roadblocks, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

It was also the first time in over a year that the PLA local garrison has been involved in the public community work.

The soldiers, mostly in green T-shirts and black shorts, and carrying red buckets, ran out of the PLA’s Kowloon Tong barracks at about 4 PM to clear obstacles on Renfrew Road, near Baptist University’s campus, the report said.

A soldier said their action had nothing to do with the Hong Kong government.

“We initiated this! Stopping violence and ending chaos is our responsibility,” he said, quoting a phrase coined by President Xi Jinping.

Firefighters and police officers also joined the soldiers.

Earlier, Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu said the PLA could freely decide on whether to send soldiers to perform volunteer services outside military sites and the…

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