Some Hong Kong netizens have recently been discussing which side would win if Gurkhas and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers engaged in battle.
As a former Gurkha, I may not be impartial in giving an answer to this hypothetical question, but I should be able to provide some useful information for discussion.
From the early 1960s until 1997, the British Gurkha garrison was the main defense force of Hong Kong.
That responsibility was taken over by the PLA garrison when the city was returned to China.
The Gurkhas and the PLA have both done their jobs well in Hong Kong.
The Gurkhas’ performance may have been more visible to the public than that of the PLA troops, who mainly stay in their barracks.
In the last few decades before the handover, Gurkhas showed their toughness when performing their duties in Hong Kong.
They are world-renowned for their bravery, tenacity and loyalty.
Their commitment and sense of duty and honor are second to none.
Gurkhas would rather die than leave the battlefield. They are known throughout the world for their fearlessness.
What’s more, Gurkhas are famous for the kukri, a curved dagger that is a formidable weapon in close combat.
They also have strong survival skills in the wild country.
Perhaps some people may say the fearsome image of the Gurkhas was built up by the British as war propaganda.
But Gurkhas did not earn that reputation only on the track record of their professional services to the British Crown for more than 200 years.
Their current involvement and display of bravery in Afghanistan has also helped them earn respect.
No doubt, the PLA, established in 1927 and garrisoned in Hong Kong since 1997, has its advantages.
PLA soldiers are tough, well-trained and disciplined.
They are also very focused, hardly influenced by outside disturbances, and highly motivated.
Chinese kungfu can be a real advantage to them.
PLA soldiers have the will to fight until the end, as they love their country.
This makes them a strong team.
As Gurkhas and PLA soldiers are tough and have their reasons to fight until the last moment, it would be very hard to say who would win in the end, assuming that they are equipped with modern weapons.
The winner will only be seen if they fight with hand guns and knives in the wild countryside.
But I sincerely hope this will not happen in our lovely Hong Kong.
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