Police Confirming Purchase of Chinese-made Tear Gas Canisters
Police Senior Superintendent (Operations) Wong Wai-shun confirmed at its 11 October press conference that the Force had purchased tear gas canisters made in mainland China, following a report that claimed the Force planned to use Chinese-made canisters since their inventory of tear gas canisters made overseas had almost dried up. Wong, however, refused to reveal the name of the manufacturer of the ammunition, saying that it was “a sensitive matter”.
Wong also said there had been Chinese-made canisters fired due to the the escalating level of violence of “rioters” over the last 4 months, but the Force did not make incessant purchase of new canisters, nor did it specifically import ammunition made in a particular country or region. Instead, the Police sourced ammunition globally and considered the effectiveness of the ammunition, price and shipping, he said. Wong admitted the purchase of Chinese-made tear gas canisters only after he was repeatedly questioned by the reporters, but he insisted on not revealing the details of the manufacturer.
On whether the Chinese-made tear gas canisters produce different effects from those previously purchased from Britain, Wong said both produced comparable effects because it would take time to test the effects of new canisters to ensure no undesirable effects would result and that the Police had the responsibility to ensure the safety of the officers and the public.
Local Chinese-language newspaper Oriental Daily cited unnamed police sources on 10 October 2019 as reporting that the Police’s stock of tear gas canisters made overseas had almost been depleted after thousands of tear gas canisters had been fired over the last 4 months, and that the Police planned to use Chinese-made canisters, which would explode and produce tear gas smoke in precisely 1.2 seconds after being thrown, i.e. 0.3 seconds faster than the old ones.