Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning’s visit prompts no-fly zone, online ticket quests in Hong Kong
Source says no-fly zone set up above carrier and restricted zone created in waters around docking place
Air and sea security zones will be set up when China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning docks in Hong Kong for its five-day visit starting on Friday, the Post has learned.
The Liaoning and its three accompanying warships are expected to enter Hong Kong waters from the south at about 7am Friday. The carrier will dock in the western anchorage area about 1km south of Tsing Yi and the other vessels at the People’s Liberation Army’s naval base at Stonecutters Island.
A government source with knowledge of the security arrangements said there would be a no-fly zone above the carrier and a restricted zone in the waters around its docking place. Several marine police launches would patrol around the Liaoning and turn away unauthorised vessels, the source said.
A welcoming ceremony was to be held at the Stonecutters Island base on Friday, while executive councillors and local delegates to the National People’s Congress were among the guests invited to attend a cocktail party on board the carrier on Friday evening.
Only 2,000 Hongkongers who queued for hours on Monday to register to board the Liaoning would be allowed to access to the carrier on Saturday and Sunday. Visiting hours are from 9am to 3pm on both days. Shuttle vessels will be arranged at a Central pier to ferry them to the carrier.
Holders of tickets to the open days at the Stonecutters Island base on Saturday and Sunday will also be allowed to visit the destroyers Jinan and Yinchuan and the frigate Yantai.
Some military fans offered between HK$200 and HK$1,000 online for tickets to board the Liaoning, apparently not knowing that the free tickets were not transferable. Ticket holders will be required to present their registered permanent identity card.
But transactions were seen on internet forums and auction sites for the open-day tickets to the Stonecutters Island base, with prices ranging from HK$200 to HK$1,000.
One of the buyers, surnamed Lin and who comes from Beijing, bought a ticket forHK$300 from a seller on WeChat.
“I have long heard about the exhibition as it is widely reported in the news, and coincidentally I am in Shenzhen for business,” Lin said. “This visit will be worth it.”
Another buyer using the alias TenFour bought two tickets from another WeChat seller, PurpleMoon, for HK$300 each. “Someone actually sold one for HK$800.My price is fair and reasonable,” PurpleMoon said.
A People’s Liberation Army local garrison spokesman said photography was prohibited on the vessels and visitors might be denied entry if they brought cameras with them. However, visitors would be allowed to carry and use mobile phones on the ships.