Released Satellite, Video Images Show 500 Chinese Military Vehicles, Troops Near Hong Kong Border; Some Calling it Intimidation Tactic to Squash Hong Kong Protests

  • Satellite and video images released this week appear to show more than 500 Chinese military vehicles and troops in and near a soccer stadium near the Hong Kong border in what is purportedly a response to continued Hong Kong protests that have crippled operations at Hong Kong International airport for several days.
  • The images were taken Monday by Maxar’s WorldView and show the military vehicles “lined up at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center just across the harbor from Hong Kong.”
  • However, China has denied the claims that the vehicles are there in opposition to the months-long protests and said the exercises had already been scheduled and were unrelated to the ongoing situation in Hong Kong.
  • Professor Steve Tsang, Director of the SOAS China Institute in London, said the video footage was released to send a message to protesters.
  • Tsang said: “It is clearly meant to intimidate people in Hong Kong and send a message that if the Hong Kong government can’t get things under control, they will intervene.”
  • Professor Dr. Kenneth Chan said: “Talks and images about the deployment of troops also serve as a typical communist-style psychological warfare to isolate and marginalize the more radical elements of the ongoing protest in Hong Kong.”
  • Earlier this week, China had used its strongest language so far to condemn the Hong Kong protests calling them “sprouts of terrorism.”
  • According to reports, “China is believed to have already dispatched officers to fortify the ranks of the Hong Kong police and may also have planted decoys among the protesters in order to encourage more violent acts that could eventually turn ordinary residents against the movement.”
  • After massive cancellations and delays for two consecutive days, the Hong Kong International Airport resumed normal operations on Wednesday.
  • The airport’s management said “it had designated an area of the airport to be set aside for demonstrations, but no protests would be allowed outside the designated area.”
  • Protests originally started to oppose an extradition bill that would extradite suspects to mainland China, where critics say they could face human rights abuses. Demonstrators then began pressuring Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to resign, which she has refused to do.

Reference Links

  • France 24: Troops at the border: A Chinese military intervention in Hong Kong? READ
  • Fox: Chinese military vehicles stashed across Hong Kong border in soccer stadium, satellite images appear to show READ
  • AP: Satellite photos: Chinese armored vehicles near Hong Kong READ
  • CBS: U.S. urges China to respect Hong Kong’s freedoms after airport violence, as photos show Chinese troop buildup READ

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