Date
18 January 2017
PLA Hong Kong Garrison commander-in-chief Tan Benhong (center) inspects the parade of new graduates at the Hong Kong Police College on Saturday. Photo: GovHK
PLA Hong Kong Garrison commander-in-chief Tan Benhong (center) inspects the parade of new graduates at the Hong Kong Police College on Saturday. Photo: GovHK

PLA Hong Kong chief’s presence at police ceremony hit

The Hong Kong police force drew criticism after it invited the head of the People’s Liberation Army in the city to inspect a passing-out parade of new recruits at the Hong Kong Police College over the weekend.

In his speech on Saturday, Lt. Gen. Tan Benhong, commander-in-chief of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison, hailed efforts by the local police force in safeguarding the people’s interest and maintaining social order while strictly abiding by the rule of law during the pro-democracy Occupy Movement in 2014 and the Mong Kok clashes in February this year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

He also cited the efforts of the local police to help stem the problem of illegal immigration and other crimes in the city.

Tan called for strengthened communications and more exchanges between the local police force and the PLA for the betterment of the city.

But legislator Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu of the Civic Party said inviting the PLA Hong Kong Garrison chief to the ceremony was “inappropriate”, especially at a time when Hong Kong people’s level of satisfaction with the local police is at a record low, Apple Daily said.

He also said the presence of a top mainland military commander at the graduation ceremony of 34 probationary inspectors and 239 recruit constables at the Hong Kong Police College could have further shakened the citizens’ confidence in the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.

Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung said it is a common practice to invite government officials and community leaders to inspect passing-out parades, Digital Broadcasting Corporation reported.

This is not the first time the head of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison was invited to the ceremony for new police officers, Lo said.

Records show that past PLA Hong Kong Garrison chief Wang Jitang was invited to the ceremony in May 2007 and so was his successor Zhang Shibo in April 2008.

Previous passing-out parades this year were inspected by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in February and Community Chest executive committee chairman Peter Wong Tung-shun in April.

Translation by Chloe Chow

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Tan Benhong, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung, meets the new graduates after the passing-out parade. Photo: GovHK


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