In a video uploaded to the Chinese social media site Weibo, Chinese soldiers can be seen training ‘anti-riot’ measures, seemingly preparing to involve themselves in containing the protests.
This was a continuation of the warning given by the Chief of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to the pro-democracy protesters, noting that the movement “should not be tolerated” and applauded the Hong Kong government and Judiciary system for punishing “violent criminals” in accordance to the law.
In the video, soldiers of the PLA are shown to be exercising their capability in ‘anti-riot’ measures, with one chanting “All consequences are at your own risk”. The video has garnered attention, with some onlookers being worried due to the increasingly threatening posture of the Chinese military.
The Hong Kong protests have reached new escalations since its start during the early days of June in reaction to the conception of the Extradition Bill. Protests have shaken the government to its core, with one of the worst cases being the seizing of Hong Kong’s parliament chamber by the protesters. In response, the Hong Kong government has reacted uncompromisingly by sentencing up to 40 prisoners for 10 years of jail due to rioting.
The issue has involved many domestic and international parties who have either applauded or condemned the actions taken by the government. Furthermore, reports of violence and mistreatment by local authorities have been rampant. This ranges from local artists, such as Denise Ho, to Donald Trump among others.
Many have asked for accountability from local authorities, including civil servants through their letter requesting the formation of an independent commission of inquiry. The commission has two main objectives: to investigate whether the amendment of the Extradition Bill was appropriate and whether police actions in response to the protests were justified.
Over 100 civil servants have signed the joint letter suggesting the action, as they highly question the ethical nature of local police by “hiding their identity, and applying force of a questionable level”. Further, many have also testified for the lack of action done by the police to quell violence to the protesters, as other parties such as triad gangs have joined the chaos by assaulting pro-democracy protesters and journalists.