Date
19 November 2017
Military bands from China and other parts of the world will perform in Hong Kong as part of the grand  celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover. Photo: GovHK
Military bands from China and other parts of the world will perform in Hong Kong as part of the grand celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover. Photo: GovHK

PLA to lead int’l military bands in handover extravaganza

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army will lead a series of international military tattoos at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom in July, one of the key celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule.

Military bands and troupes of the PLA navy, honor guard and the force’s Hong Kong garrison will perform in the three-day event sponsored by Bank of China (Hong Kong), the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing a government press release.

Some observers, however, fear the PLA musical presentations are part of Beijing’s propaganda to instill a political message.

It is said that some of the songs to be played will pay tribute to the Chinese Communist Party or are reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution.  

A host of army green uniform-clad PLA colonels were seen at Wednesday’s press conference at the Hong Kong Cultural Center, along with SAR government officials.  

Some overseas military bands from Mongolian Armed Forces, the Royal Netherlands Army Mounted Regiments, the Russian Frontier Guard Band, the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the US 7th Fleet Band have also been invited to join the extravaganza.

When a US 7th Fleet commander ship called in Hong Kong last year, an improvisational performance by the fleet’s band, in which the American sailors played Cantonese pop tunes, became a sensation.

The Hong Kong Police Band and the Hong Kong Association of Choral Societies will also participate in the performances, to be staged from July 13 to 15, 8 p.m., at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

Tickets priced at HK$150, HK$250 and HK$350 will be available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk) later this month. 

Meet-the-bands activities will be held before each performance from 7 p.m. to 7.45 p.m. at the piazza of the Hong Kong Coliseum with free admission. 

A two-day outdoor carnival will also be held in mid-July at the Cultural Center Piazza. 

Meanwhile, the government is inviting donations for a slew of handover anniversary celebrations, that will be held from this month to the end of the year.

A lump sum of HK$640 million has already been set aside for various events.

In a document submitted to the Legislative Council, the government revealed that more than 300 events will be held across the city and another 200 events will be organized in mainland China and other places all over the world to mark the occasion. 

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FC/CG

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