The People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong said Thursday that the Chinese military will make even greater ‘new’ contributions to maintaining Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, Reuters reported, citing the Xinhua news agency.
According to the media report, the Chinese military has now completed a routine troop rotation in Hong Kong, with air, land and maritime forces entering the territory.
The protests in the financial hub began more than two months ago after the local legislature opened debates on a bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has since declared the bill “dead”.
The protesters are demanding that it must be withdrawn completely. Locals also want the city authorities to implement universal suffrage and retract criminal charges against the protesters.
Last week, the rallies turned violent, with police having resorted to warning shots for the first time in three months.
The United Kingdom and the United States have expressed concern over alleged acts of violence that occurred during a major protest in Hong Kong. Beijing, in turn, has warned against foreign interfering in Hong Kong’s domestic affairs.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has also called the situation in Hong Kong amid the recent massive protests the most serious since the region’s return to China in 1997.
In 1997, Hong Kong became the first administrative region of China under the “one country, two systems” policy. The move ended the colonial rule of Britain over the region.
Hong Kong, which enjoys significant autonomy in China except for foreign and defense policies, has a legal system different from Beijing.