China doubles troop quantity in Hong Kong as protests continue to escalate to violence
According to the US and World News report, Hong Kong has steadily doubled its troops over the last few weeks to over 12,000 Chinese troops, some of which are members of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s paramilitary People’s Armed Police. This increase in Chinese troops comes after a violent weekend in the region of Hong Kong, where protests turned violent after “demonstrators lit fires and threw Molotov cocktails and bricks.” These protests were met with police retaliation in the form of tear gas and high-pressure water, and over 150 people were arrested and 48 people were transported to hospitals. ~
The increase in Chinee troop quantity in Hong Kong is just the latest escalation is a surge of conflict that has been rising in the Hong Kong region. Hundreds of thousands of Hong-Kong demonstrators have been protesting for an autonomous Hong Kong Democracy from Chinese rule for 17 straight weeks in response to an indefinitely suspended extradition bill in June that would have allowed Hong Kong citizens to be sent back to mainland China to face trial. According to The Washington Post, “Hong Kong police have deployed force, including in residential neighborhoods, and made more than 800 arrests to discourage further unrest,” including the arrest of prominent figures such as well-known pro-democracy activist and 2014 Occupy protest leader Joshua Wong, fellow leader of 2014 Occupy protests Agnes Chow, independence advocate Andy Chan, and District Councilor Rick Hui. ~
According to Reuters, Hong Kong police and Chinese troops are on “high alert” for protest events planned Tuesday, the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Although Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam claimed Monday that the Chinese troops will not be used to suppress protest crowds, it is not feasible to leave the task of crowd control to the Hong Kong Police force alone. When asked what power or influence she or the Chinese military has over the protesters, Lam stated that “Apart from the 30,000 men and women in the force we have nothing. Really. We have nothing. I have nothing,” (Reuters, 2019). ~
This is Fact Based America – WE have the FACTS. YOU have the OPINIONS. What are your thoughts on the increase in Chinese troops in the Hong Kong region? Do you support the Hong Kong protesters?