Date
26 September 2017
Hong Kong police conduct simulated arrests and dispersal during a drill ahead of the July 1 pro-democracy march. Photos: nowTV, Ming Pao Daily
Hong Kong police conduct simulated arrests and dispersal during a drill ahead of the July 1 pro-democracy march. Photos: nowTV, Ming Pao Daily

PLA troops ready if asked to move on July 1 march

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops in Hong Kong are ready to move if asked by the government in the event the July 1 pro-democracy march gets out of hand, Sing Tao Daily reported Thursday.

The assurance was made to Hong Kong legislators who were invited to a military drill at the PLA headquarters.

It coincided with a similar exercise by the Hong Kong police, the largest since the World Trade Organization meeting in 2005, at the Police College in Aberdeen district, the report said.  

Authorities are worried the march might turn into a civil disturbance, along the lines of Occupy Central, which is planning a blockade of Hong Kong’s financial and business district.       

However, Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai said the group’s civil disobedience campaign will not happen on July 1.

Police expect most participants to stage a sit-in, although there might be sporadic clashes, the report said.

Deputy police commissioner Lo Wai-chung led the drill in which officers rehearsed minimum force to break human chains and disperse protesters.

The exercise simulated different scenarios, including occupation of Two International Finance Centre in Central, the report said.

Meanwhile, all police personnel have been ordered to cancel leave and remain on standby.

Ma Hang Prison in Stanley and the Police College have been designated as temporary detention centers in case of large-scale arrests, the report said.

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TL/AC/RA

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