China mobilises 190,000 police officers to prepare for 70th anniversary celebrations

01-Aug-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

About 190,000 police officers took part in a drill in southern China on Tuesday as part of the preparations for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic, state media reported.

The exercise was staged in Guangdong province and involved armoured vehicles and helicopters, state news agency Xinhua reported.

It is unusual for such a drill to be held so far from Beijing as police forces in or near the capital are typically used for anniversary events.

The location and scale of the exercise led to concerns that Beijing was preparing for action in Hong Kong, after opposition to a now suspended extradition bill led to violent protests.

Last week, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) took part in counterterrorism drills in Zhanjiang, Guangdong, mainland Chinese media reported.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg report cited a White House official as saying the US was monitoring a “congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”.

The nature of the build-up was not clear, the official was quoted as saying.

A spokesman for the PLA Hong Kong garrison said he was unaware of the reported deployment.

A source in Beijing involved in Hong Kong policy dismissed the report.

“The situation facing Hong Kong has not reached the [point where] PLA troops should be deployed,” the person said.


Category: China

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