Reuters Reveals 4000 Chinese Armed Police Illegally Operating on frontlines as Hong Kong Police
Reuters quoted from diplomatic sources, saying that during last year’s anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong, the Chinese armed police had joined Hong Kong police on the frontlines to observe the protest movement at the scene. According to the source, Hong Kong police had brought Chinese armed police to monitor the protesters and their tactics, to gain a better understanding of the situation in Hong Kong.
Reuters quoted from diplomats’ estimation that as many as 4,000 Chinese armed police came to Hong Kong. The report also quoted from veteran democratic legislator James To, saying he was aware that Hong Kong police have taken Chinese armed police to the front during protests, apparently in an observation role. It was reported that neither To nor the diplomats had seen any indication that the Chinese armed police took enforcement action in Hong Kong or carried out work other than observation.
In response to a Reuters’ inquiry, the Chinese Defence Ministry said the armed police was not stationed in Hong Kong, while a Hong Kong police spokesman said they “stress that there is no such visit or observation by any members of the mainland law enforcement agencies”. The State Council Information Office and the Central Government’s Hong Kong Liaison Office did not respond to Reuters’ questions.
The report quoted a number of diplomatic sources as saying that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison had expanded to 12,000 last year. Although the Chinese armed police shared facilities with the PLA, they have their own vehicles, including amphibious armoured personnel carriers and bulldozers.
Last September, Reuters had quoted foreign envoy sources as saying that the PLA had doubled in numbers and that the garrison was equipped for riot control, with the envoy describing the operation as “the largest assembly of the PLA in Hong Kong”. Reports also said that the Chinese Armed Police were incorporated, and it is believed that Beijing will send the armed police to fight in the lead in suppressing Hong Kong demonstrations.