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Iran Press TV

Chinese military personnel parade near Hong Kong border: Report

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 15, 2019 07:53AM

Thousands of Chinese military personnel have reportedly paraded at a sports stadium in Shenzhen, a city in mainland China that borders Hong Kong.

Armored vehicles were also seen inside the stadium, with some of the personnel having armed police insignia on their camouflage fatigues, according to an AFP reporter who witnessed the event on Thursday.

The security forces moved in formation inside the stadium, while others rode around outside on motorbikes, AFP said. Dozens of trucks and armored personnel carriers could also be seen outside the stadium.

On Monday, China's People's Armed Police assembled in Shenzhen for exercises, the state-backed Global Times newspaper said.

This comes as Hong Kong has for weeks been the scene of protests over an extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be tried in mainland courts. The government of the semi-autonomous Chinese region has effectively backed away from the bill. Protests have persisted, nevertheless, with individuals sometimes resorting to violence and vandalizing government buildings.

Beijing, which has sovereignty over the city, has already warned that it is ready to quell the "intolerable" unrest if requested.

China has also repeatedly warned against violence. Recently, and as the protests have become more violent, Beijing has said some protesters are acting in ways that may amount to terrorism.

Hong Kong has been governed under a "one-country, two-system" model since the city – a former British colony – was returned to China in 1997.

China has said foreign countries, mainly the United States and Britain, have been provoking the protesters by issuing statements of support. Beijing has asked the two countries to stop meddling in Hong Kong's affairs.

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