Why Hong Kong should petition Beijing to give up half of PLA land for housing needs
I concur with the opinion expressed by Lo Wai Kong in his letter published on August 2, that military land is an option for solving the Hong Kong housing problem (“Building homes on military land seen as win-win”).
The Hong Kong government should petition the Chinese central government to reduce its military garrison in Hong Kong by half, thus releasing half of the 2,750 hectares of People’s Liberation Army land for Hong Kong housing development. This is a win-win situation because the Chinese central government can save money from the payroll of the military personnel stationed in Hong Kong, while helping to resolve the housing crisis in the city.
Watch: Why land in Hong Kong is so expensive
The presence of military troops in Hong Kong is only a matter of face for China to prove its sovereignty over Hong Kong. There is no imminent danger of any sensible foreign government invading Hong Kong in the near future. Hong Kong just needs a minimum of PLA troops to prove that China holds sovereignty over the territory. Hong Kong’s Task Force on Land Supply has not included PLA land among the 18 options in its public consultation exercise for sourcing housing sites. As your correspondent said, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor should approach the central government on this as soon as possible.
Lau Shui Sang, Kwai Chung