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People's Liberation Army
Hong Kong Garrison
中國人民解放軍駐香港部隊
Sleeve insignia of PLA Ground Force
units of the Hong Kong Garrison
Founded1 July 1997; 26 years ago (1997-07-01)
Country People's Republic of China
 Hong Kong
Allegiance Chinese Communist Party
Branch
Size10,000 to 12,000[1]
Part ofSouthern Theater Command
Garrison/HQChinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building
22°16′54″N 114°09′51″E / 22.2817325°N 114.1641229°E / 22.2817325; 114.1641229
Commanders
CommanderMajor General Peng Jingtang
Political Commissar[3]Major General Cai Yongzhong[2]
Chinese People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison
Traditional Chinese中國人民解放軍駐香港部隊
Simplified Chinese中国人民解放军驻香港部队
Literal meaningChina People Liberation Army stationing Hong Kong Troops

The People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison is a garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), responsible for defence duties in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) since the sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred to China in 1997. Prior to the handover of Hong Kong, the territory was under British rule, and the defence of the territory was the responsibility of the British Forces Overseas Hong Kong, with auxiliary help from the Royal Hong Kong Regiment.

The garrison is headquartered in Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building in Central, Hong Kong. The size of the Hong Kong garrison is approximately 10,000–12,000 personnel, including members of the People's Armed Police, People's Liberation Army Navy, People's Liberation Army Air Force, and People's Liberation Army Ground Force.[4]

Role in Hong Kong

The People's Republic of China (PRC) assumed sovereignty over Hong Kong on 1 July 1997 and the Central People's Government (CPG) stationed a garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Hong Kong to manage the defense affairs of the territory. While the garrison has been considered primarily symbolic of Beijing's governance over Hong Kong, it is nevertheless asserted to be a combat-ready force.[5]

The Basic Law upon the territory provides that the CPG shall be responsible for the defense of Hong Kong and shall bear the expenditure for the garrison, whereas the colonial Hong Kong Government before 1997 had to pay for the military. The Garrison Law, subsequently enacted by the National People's Congress, contains specific provisions on the duties and rules of discipline of the garrison personnel, jurisdiction and other questions, to facilitate the Hong Kong Garrison in fulfilling its defence functions along legal lines. Military forces stationed in Hong Kong shall not interfere in the local affairs and the Hong Kong government shall be responsible for the maintenance of public order. The Garrison formally stationed in Hong Kong assumed defence responsibility for Hong Kong from midnight onwards on 1 July 1997.

The Hong Kong Garrison includes elements of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force, PLA Navy, and PLA Air Force; these forces are under the direct leadership of the Central Military Commission in Beijing and under the administrative control of the adjacent Southern Theater Command.

While performing its defense duties, the Hong Kong Garrison must abide by both national and Hong Kong laws, as well as the current rules and regulations of the PLA, according to the Garrison Law, a PRC law. After its entry into Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Garrison abide by the Basic Law and the Garrison Law, actively organizing military training. According to the Garrison Law, the Garrison established working contacts with the Hong Kong Government, and opened the barracks on Stonecutters Island and Stanley to the public to promote Hong Kong people's understanding of and trust in the garrison forces and their personnel. Annual open house events are held to showcase the assets and combat readiness of the garrison personnel. Garrison troop rotations are also routine.[6][7]

In early 2022, Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping, appointed Major General Peng Jingtang, a former People's Armed Police paramilitary commander, to lead the PLA garrison in Hong Kong.[8]

Insignia

Personnel in the Hong Kong Garrison wore uniforms different from their mainland counterparts until a new set of uniforms were introduced in 2007. Motor vehicles in the military are right-hand drive, like civilian vehicles in Hong Kong, and carry number plates that start with ZG, standing for zgǎng (驻港/駐港), Chinese for "[stationed] in Hong Kong."

Command

People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison headquarters

The Hong Kong Garrison reports to both the Southern Theater Command and Central Military Commission in Beijing, and informs Hong Kong Government of any actions within or around Hong Kong.

Garrison Commanders
Political Commissars

Properties

Main article: Property Owned by the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region § PLA Hong Kong Garrison

There are 19 sites occupied by the Garrison across Hong Kong. According to a Reuters investigation, many of these sites are run down and not fully utilised, which has caused some to argue that the land should be returned and used for housing.[10] The Tsing Shan firing range occupies approximately 80% of the 2,750 hectares of land managed by the PLA.[11][12]

A secret 20th site was discovered in 2014, without the PLA informing the public, as required by the Garrison Law.[13]

The Commander lives on The Peak at Headquarters House, 11 Barker Road. Other property owned by the Garrison includes the United Services Recreation Club.

Army

Regiments/Units

Formerly the 1st Red Regiment of 1st Red Division, 1st Red Army. In 1949, the regiment comprised the 424th Regiment, 142nd Division, 48th Army. In 1952, the 142nd Division was assigned to 55th Army and the 424th Regiment renamed the 430th Regiment. In 1970, the 144th Division was renamed as the 163rd Division and 430th Regiment renamed as 487th Regiment.

Bases

Bases within Hong Kong are former British facilities namely from the British Army:

Equipment

Model Type Number Dates Manufacturer Details
Type 92 6 wheeled armored personnel carrier 21 1980s Norinco With 12.7mm machine gun
Type 56C 7.62 mm assault rifle N/A N/A Norinco
Type 88 5.8 mm sniper rifle N/A N/A Norinco
CS/LR4 7.62 mm sniper rifle N/A N/A Norinco
QBZ-191 5.8 mm automatic assault rifle N/A N/A Norinco
QBZ-95 5.8 mm automatic assault rifle N/A N/A Norinco
QBZ-03 5.8 mm automatic assault rifle N/A N/A Norinco
QCW-05 submachine gun N/A N/A Norinco
Type 87 grenade launcher grenade launcher N/A N/A Norinco
Type 95 Squad Machine Gun Light machine gun N/A N/A Norinco
Type 92 pistol pistol N/A N/A Norinco
Jiefang CA-30 utility truck N/A N/A First Automobile Works, Changchun
Dongfeng EQ2050 Military light utility vehicle N/A 2010 Chinese copy of HMMWV
JH600 Duke motorcycle N/A N/A Jialing

Navy

The naval presence in Hong Kong is a limited sub-station with a small flotilla of ships rotating from bases in the mainland China:

Squadrons

Bases

Fleet

Various ships of the People's Liberation Army Navy visit the base, but only a few ships remain on semi-permanent basis.

Class or name Builder Type Quantity Year Entered Service Details Photos
Type 056 Jiangdao class Huangpu Shipyard, Guangzhou, Guangdong Corvette 2 2013 596 惠州 / Huizhou

597 钦州 / Qinzhou

Type 074-II Yuhai class Wuhu Shipyard of Wuhu, Anhui Medium Landing Ship 3 2017-8 3357, 3358, and 3359

Two 25 mm guns

Type 721 Guangxi Guiyang shipyard Light transport boat 2 1990s 42 meters long, 8.8 meters wide and 2.14 meters tall. It has a full displacement of 140 tons, a speed of 33 knots and a maximum range of 300 nautical miles. It can carry 70 people and 2 tons of materials.

Air Force

A Z-8KH of PLAAF

Units

Bases

PLA Hong Kong Garrison has three airbases, with two of these within Hong Kong:

Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Country of Manufacture Type In Service Notes
Harbin Z-9 China utility helicopter 12 – at Shek Kong Airfield upgraded variant of AS 565 Panther and SA 360 Dauphin 2
Changhe Z-8KH China search and rescue helicopter 4 – at Shek Kong Airfield Licensed version of Aérospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon

See also

References

  1. ^ "Exclusive: China has doubled troop levels in Hong Kong, envoys estimate". Reuters. 30 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Chinese army promotes new political commissar at Hong Kong garrison". South China Morning Post. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Information Note: The Hong Kong Garrison of the Chinese People's Liberation Army" (PDF). Legislative Council Secretariat, Hong Kong. Retrieved 21 January 2018. para. 2.6.((cite web)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  4. ^ "China quietly doubles troop levels in Hong Kong, envoys say". Reuters. 30 September 2019.
  5. ^ Gan, Nectar; Cheung, Tony (17 June 2017). "Hong Kong's PLA garrison no longer just symbolic, top brass say". South China Morning Post.
  6. ^ Adam Taylor. (29 August 2019). "China's garrison in Hong Kong closely watches as protests churn on". Washington Post website Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  7. ^ South China Morning Post Staff. (26 August 2021). "Hong Kong PLA garrison completes 24th annual troop rotation". Global Herald website Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  8. ^ Reuters staff. (10 January 2022). "China names former paramilitary chief as HK garrison commander". Al Jazeera website Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  9. ^ "New Commander of PLA Garrison in HK Appointed".
  10. ^ "Hong Kong's underused military land a potential goldmine: but a minefield for government". Reuters. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  11. ^ Chen, Frank (3 July 2018). "PLA urged to release land to combat HK's housing shortage". Asia Times. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  12. ^ "PLA land offers range of sites for housing". South China Morning Post. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  13. ^ "LCQ9: Military sites". www.info.gov.hk. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  14. ^ 驻香港部队幼儿园. Retrieved 14 January 2019.