With Troop Buildup, China Sends a Stark Warning to Hong Kong


an editorial, referring to the year that military troops in Beijing crushed the Tiananmen protests. It said Beijing had not decided to use force to intervene in Hong Kong, but had the legal right to do so if needed.

“Washington will not be able to intimidate China by using the turmoil 30 years ago. China is much stronger and more mature, and its ability to manage complex situations has been greatly enhanced,” the editorial said.

The deployment in Shenzhen was clearly meant to focus attention in Hong Kong and beyond. A white bridge that connects Shenzhen to Hong Kong is only two miles down the road.

The message was amplified by no less than Mr. Trump, who disclosed on Twitter that American intelligence agencies had spotted the Chinese troops massing at the border. “Everyone should be calm and safe!”

tied up and beat two men from China.

Three days after protesters defaced the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong with paint and graffiti on July 21, the chief spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense curtly noted that the People’s Liberation Army had the authority to intervene in the territory, if requested, to keep order.

The law that details relations between Hong Kong and the army limits its role to external defense, but allows it to intervene, when sought by Hong Kong’s leaders, to maintain public order or assist in cases of natural disasters.

The Hong Kong garrison of the People’s Liberation Army is based in what was formerly the British military headquarters. The garrison includes 19 sites around the territory, but many of its soldiers — estimates of the total vary from 6,000 to 10,000 — live and train in bases across the border in Shenzhen.

“Those who want to stir up unrest should know that Hong Kong has a P.L.A. garrison,” Han Dayuan, a law professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said during a government-organized news conference. “They should consider that for a moment when there is turmoil, there is also a need to resolve it quickly.”

deployed extensively in Xinjiang, where the government has harshly cracked down on what it views as the threat of Islamist extremism among Uighur Muslims.

As part of Mr. Xi’s efforts to streamline the military command structure, a core part of his consolidation of power since 2012, the People’s Armed Police was put last year under the leadership of civilian party authorities and the Central Military Commission, which he controls as its chairman.

Video of its deployment in Shenzhen appeared in China’s state media within hours of the arrival of the vehicles at the stadium on Aug. 11. The reports said the troops there were taking part in a drill across all of Guangdong Province.

The troops at the stadium appear to have settled in on its grounds. Backpacks and other personnel items could be seen neatly arrayed in the stadium’s causeways, while officers milled about during breaks from drills, which could easily be heard, if not seen, from the streets around the stadium.

kicked off China’s remarkable economic transition 40 years ago and that now has aspirations of being a global high-tech hub.

Two rivers and Shenzhen Bay separate the city from Hong Kong. So does a heavily fortified border with passport and customs checks at six crossing points. There is also a cultural and political gulf that has barely narrowed since Hong Kong was returned to Chinese control in 1997.

@stevenleemyers and @HernandezJavier.
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