Chance to play soldiers with the PLA

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 July, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 July, 1997, 12:00am

Students who fancy a taste of boot camp might soon be able to spend a weekend training with the PLA Garrison.

The summer camps, proposed by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, are aimed at integrating soldiers with the community.

'A lot of people are curious about the PLA soldiers who are now part of our local community. The best thing would be for them to get to know the soldiers personally,' said Tang Tsun-wan of DAB's New Territories West office.

In the 1970s, hundreds of people joined military camps organised by the British forces to get a taste of military life.

The recruits learned to set up tents, self-defence techniques and some basic military knowledge.

'It's the same concept. Participants could act as a bridge between the mainland soldiers and locals to strengthen mutual trust,' said Mr Tang.

'Our proposal has received an encouraging response from Xinhua [the New China News Agency]. But it will be up to the PLA Garrison to decide.

'I'm hoping the military training could begin by next Easter holiday or summer,' he said.

While the proposal is examined by the Garrison, more than 100 people aged from 15 to 40 have volunteered to receive training in China.

A four-day military camp at Guangzhou Huangpu Military Academy, where Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek was principal, begins next month.