China’s People’s Liberation Army based in Hong Kong has released a video showing footage of “anti-riot” exercises as its top brass said violence is “absolutely impermissible” — an undeniable warning to civilian protesters.
- Some scenes show armed soldiers in riot gear pelting tear gas and shooting water cannons
- Targeted civilians in the video wear masks like those wore by Hong Kong protesters
- Hong Kong police arrested 44 people on rioting charges this week
The three-minute video posted on the Hong Kong garrison’s official Weibo social media account late on Wednesday included footage of troops firing guns and rockets, and of light tanks, attack helicopters and missile launchers.
The PLA has remained in barracks since political protests began in April, leaving Hong Kong’s police force to deal with the massive and often violent confrontations in the Asian financial hub.
In one sequence in the PLA video, titled “anti-riot drill footage”, ranks of troops advance with shields and truncheons, firing rifles into the air.