Amid the escalation of tension over pro-democracy protests, the Chinese regime sent a new batch of troops to Hong Kong this Thursday, Aug. 29, declaring that its garrison in the autonomous territory will follow the orders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as reported by Reuters.
The demonstrations, which have mobilized millions of people, escalated three months ago after the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government proposed a bill that would allow mainland China to extradite suspects to its territory.
This project of the Hong Kong authorities is seen by a vast sector of the population as a window that would allow the communist regime to judge, persecute, and repress Hong Kong citizens who do not adhere to the doctrines of the CCP.
While the demonstrations began for this reason, they later became a broader movement calling for democracy and adherence to the “one country, two systems” model, which guarantees freedoms not available in mainland China, including an independent judiciary.
Repression of Hong Kong demonstrators by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)—disguised as the Hong Kong Police—has become increasingly violent.
According to the Chinese regime’s news agency, Xinhua, the Chinese army “will make even greater contributions to maintaining Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”
Xinhua also indicated that the garrison troops “would fulfill their obligation of defending Hong Kong according to the law and would follow the orders of the Communist Party.”
However, knowing the violent nature of the Chinese regime, this action raises fears in the international community and brings to mind the Tiananmen Square massacre, when the Chinese communist regime bloodily repressed a demonstration of young students protesting against the corruption of the CCP.
According to Reuters, it is estimated that Hong Hong has between 8,000 and 10,000 troops split between bases in southern China and a network of former British army barracks in Hong Kong.
One country, two systems
In 1997, the United Kingdom transferred Hong Kong’s sovereignty to mainland China, under the agreement that Beijing would allow the freedoms and rights enjoyed by the inhabitants of the city when they were a British colony to remain (a model known as “one country, two systems”).
Since then, however, Hong Kong residents and analysts warn that Chinese communist influence over Hong Kong has grown, with its government and Parliament biased in favor of the CCP’s central power. Education, the judiciary and the media are increasingly under pressure.