ASSAULTS on Hong Kong lorry drivers by People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers are likely to continue, a Hong Kong truck drivers' union said last night. Two drivers are recovering after being attacked in Shenzhen on Sunday by three PLA soldiers. One driver, Lai Chu-kau, had his finger bitten. In response, scores of lorry drivers blocked the major road where the attack happened for eight hours. Xie Lang, a spokesman for the Container Transportation Employees' Union, said he feared such attacks would happen again because the PLA had set up many enterprises and companies on the mainland. PLA vehicles were now often on the roads, and arguments were more likely. He said there had been at least six cases in the past three months where Hong Kong drivers had been involved in disputes with PLA soldiers over minor traffic accidents in Shenzhen. The disputes mostly involved compensation demanded for damage to military vehicles. Most Hong Kong drivers were in a rush to get home after delivering goods to the mainland and did not want to wait for officers of the Traffic Bureau to arrive. Drivers were willing to pay compensation ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 to avoid having to spend the night in Shenzhen pending investigations, he said. Mr Xie, who is also a Hong Kong representative on the National People's Congress, returned to the territory last night after meeting the head of the Public Security Bureau's traffic branch, Lau Chi-kiu. He said three areas were covered: who was responsible for the attack; compensation for the injured drivers; and how to prevent PLA soldiers from attacking Hong Kong drivers. Mr Xie said Shenzhen authorities had agreed in principle to investigate the assault and to take the three soldiers to court. The Shenzhen officials were also willing to compensate the drivers for their medical expenses. He said the authorities could not issue any guarantee that drivers would not be attacked by soldiers, but agreed to meet again on the matter. He said once he had more information on Sunday's attack he would pursue the matter further with Shenzhen officials. The Hong Kong Government refused to say what plans it had to help protect Hong Kong citizens who regularly drove in Shenzhen. A spokesman for the Political Adviser's office would not say whether the issue would be raised in border liaison meetings. The spokesman said the issue was being watched carefully. ''The reports of this incident are disturbing, especially the assertion in some newspapers that a firearm was pointed at Hong Kong lorry drivers,'' he said. ''The flourishing cross-border road traffic is of vital importance to both sides. It goes without saying that it is in the interests of both sides that everything possible is done to prevent a recurrence of incidents of this kind. ''We welcome reports that the Shenzhen authorities are planning disciplinary action against those responsible.'' The Transport Department said it had no plans to issue special instructions to drivers operating across the border. ''It is just common sense,'' said a spokesman. ''They should not get involved in arguments.'' Hong Kong drivers were told not to get involved in fights with soldiers in traffic accidents. They should immediately make a report to the Traffic Bureau by telephone.