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China-Japan-Koreas
China quietly doubles troop levels in Hong Kong, envoys say
2019-09-30
[Reuters] Last month, Beijing moved thousands of troops across the border into this restive city. They came in on trucks and armored cars, by bus and by ship.

The state news agency Xinhua described the operation as a routine "rotation" of the low-key force China has kept in Hong Kong since the city’s handover from Britain in 1997. No mention was made of the anti-government protests that have been shaking the metropolis since June.

It was a plausible report: China has maintained a steady level of force in the territory for years, regularly swapping troops in and out. And days earlier, according to an audio recording obtained by Reuters, embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam had told local businesspeople that China had "absolutely no plan" to order the army to put down the demonstrations.

A month on, Asian and Western envoys in Hong Kong say they are certain the late-August deployment was not a rotation at all, but a reinforcement. Seven envoys who spoke to Reuters said they didn’t detect any significant number of existing forces in Hong Kong returning to the mainland in the days before or after the announcement.

Three of the envoys said the contingent of Chinese military personnel in Hong Kong had more than doubled in size since the protests began. They estimated the number of military personnel is now between 10,000 and 12,000, up from 3,000 to 5,000 in the months before the reinforcement.
Posted by:Besoeker

#5  Nobody wants to get into urban combat.
Posted by: Rob Crawford   2019-09-30 19:20  

#4  a few subs full of soldiers would help too
Posted by: 746   2019-09-30 18:26  

#3  Hong Kong and Kowloon might not be the easiest to totally stage due to the topography, sprawl and the small back alleys and roads.

Otherwise, I'm with you there Besoeker.
Posted by: Mullah Richard   2019-09-30 12:45  

#2  I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
Posted by: Besoeker   2019-09-30 09:33  

#1  How long before China has had enough and rolls the tanks through the streets?
Posted by: DarthVader   2019-09-30 09:31  

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