PLA gar­ri­son key to Hong Kong’s pros­per­ity, Xi says

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has said the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army gar­ri­son sta­tioned in Hong Kong should res­o­lutely cham­pion state sovereignty, se­cu­rity and in­ter­ests re­gard­ing the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment, and en­sure Hong Kong’s pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity.

Xi made the re­marks after in­spect­ing the gar­ri­son at the PLA’s Shek Kong bar­racks in Hong Kong on Fri­day, the eve of the 20 th an­niver­sar y of Hong Kong’s re­turn to China.

The PLA has had a gar­ri­son in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion since the for­mer Bri­tish colony was handed back to China in 1997.

More than 3,100 of­fi­cers and sol­diers and over 100 pieces of mil­i­tary equip­ment took part in the re­view by Xi, who is also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China and chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion.

After the re­view, Xi re­ceived brief­ings by the gar­ri­son and said it should be nav­i­gated with the goal to re­in­force the PLA, and its works should be strength­ened in ev­ery as­pect at a new start­ing point.

In the past 20 years, the gar­ri­son has strictly lived up to in­struc­tions of the CPC Cen- tral Com­mit­tee and the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, and has fully hon­ored the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple as well as the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion’s Ba­sic Law and Gar­ri­son Law, Xi said.

“The (PLA) gar­ri­son is an im­por­tant em­bod­i­ment of na­tional sovereignty, an im­por­tant force to safe­guard ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’, and an im­por­tant cor­ner­stone of Hong Kong’s pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity,” he said.

It should beef up its po­lit­i­cal aware­ness and its con­scious­ness of po­lit­i­cal power and the big pic­ture, and strengthen its sense of duty about en­sur­ing “one coun­try, two sys­tems”, Xi added.

The gar­ri­son should also re­main alert and ef­fec­tively main­tain com­bat readi­ness, he said.

Ear­lier in June, Xi had con­ferred an hon­orary ti­tle on a spe­cial op­er­a­tion force un­der a brigade of the Hong Kong gar­ri­son.

Le­ung Chun-ying, vice-chair­man of the 12th Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of the HKSAR, said in a re­cent in­ter­view with China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion that the gar­ri­son “has won wide­spread rap­port and sup­port by the Hong Kong pub­lic”.

LI GANG / XIN­HUA

Spec­ta­tors gather out­side the Shek Kong bar­racks on Fri­day to watch Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in­spect the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army gar­ri­son in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion.

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