China deploys troops into Hong Kong in 'routine rotation'
Military vehicles were seen entering the semi-autonomous city in the wee hours of the morning, according to Chinese state media.
HONG KONG — China has sent a fresh batch of troops into Hong Kong in what Beijing is calling a "routine rotation."
The People's Liberation Army's Hong Kong Garrison conducted a rotation of its soldiers in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong on Thursday morning at 4:00 a.m.
This is the 22nd rotation since the Chinese army began garrisoning the city after the handover in 1997, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
Military vehicles of the People's Liberation Army were seen passing Huanggang Port, a port of entry between mainland China and Hong Kong. The Chinese military is prepared to "maintain stability and prosperity" in the city amid ongoing protests, reports Xinhua.
Images shared by Xinhua show the Hong Kong Garrison had changed its armored vehicles from a Type 092 military version to the WJ-03B. According to the South China Morning Post, this model is typically used by armed police officers for the purpose of controlling riots.
The Chinese air force also sent in armed helicopters later on Thursday morning.
As Hong Kong has been rocked by months of anti-government and pro-democracy protests, many are wary of China's next step. Beijing is keen on putting an end to the protests before October 1, which marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Reuters reports.
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