China Army Leaves Hong Kong Barracks To Help Clear Debris After Protests

The last time soldiers left the barracks was 2018 to help clean up after a typhoon battered the city.

Hong Kong: 

Soldiers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army briefly left their Hong Kong barracks on Saturday to help the clean-up after a week of violence and disruption caused by pro-democracy protests, a rare and highly symbolic movement in a city lurching deeper into crisis.

The action saw scores soldiers from the garrison, which is confined to the barracks under Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, with crewcuts and identical gym kits conduct a lightning-quick removal of bricks and debris near their base.

The PLA confirmed the brief deployment in a Weibo post late Saturday explaining the men helped open a debris-strewn road outside their Kowloon Tong barracks to traffic, winning “applause from residents” in the process.

The last time soldiers left the barracks was 2018 to help clean up after a typhoon battered the city.

Their appearance on Saturday raised tensions in a city rocked by a week of intensified violence and chaos, which prompted China’s President Xi Jinping to warn the “one country, two systems” model governing Hong Kong was being jeopardised by the protests.

Semi-autonomous Hong Kong enjoys more freedoms than the mainland, although many feel those liberties are being chipped away.

Article 14 of the Basic Law — Hong Kong’s mini-constitution since its handover from Britain to China in 1997 — allows the local government to request help from PLA garrisons in…

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