People’s Liberation Army holds military drill in Hong Kong’s New Territories
For second straight year, locally stationed garrison puts on exercise involving sea, land and air forces before invited guests
The Hong Kong garrison of the People’s Liberation Army staged a military drill in the New Territories on Monday morning involving sea, land and air forces.
For the second consecutive year, the full-scale drill was open to invited guests.
The 45-minute drill at Castle Peak Firing Range in Tuen Mun simulated a scenario in which an armed force had occupied the army’s bases around Castle Peak and attempted to infiltrate Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
The drill involved special forces, artillery, a navy ship, air power, tanks, mortars, helicopters and anti-armour rockets.
First they launched rockets at “enemy” bases, which were marked by white circles on a hillside. Helicopters then fired missiles at the targets, followed by tanks and ground troops. The forces also simulated the rescue of injured soldiers.
Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok, Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung, Commissioner of Customs and Excise Roy Tang Yun-kwong and several legislators were among hundreds of people in attendance.
New People’s Party lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun said it was necessary to hold PLA drills locally because Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China and drills should not just happen on the mainland.
He said: “It is definitely beneficial to have drills in Hong Kong because it can let Hongkongers know the level of [China’s] military power. It is definitely necessary to enhance our identity as Chinese.”
It was understood the drill involved drones for the first time, as well as the long-distance Hongjian 73 anti-tank guided missile.
It came amid a rising pro-independence sentiment in the city.
The Hong Kong government has taken the unprecedented step of a legal attempt to disqualify two pro-independence lawmakers for breaking the Basic Law during their swearing-in last month.
During the session, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, both of Youngspiration, pronounced China as “Chee-na”, which sounded like a derogatory term for China.
Legislative Council chairman Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen banned them from retaking the oath or attending meetings until the Court of First Instance rules on the judicial review on Thursday.