Reports saying armed police deployed to HK aim to 'incite panic'
By Zhang Hui and Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/6 22:53:40
Armed police 'unlikely' to be deployed to HK
With the enactment of the national security law for Hong Kong, some media claimed the central government will send around 300 armed police officers as "observers" to enforce the law, but Chinese analysts believe this is totally unreasonable and unnecessary and such reports are aimed at smearing China, inciting panic among Hong Kong residents.
The central government has been highly cautious over the issue of armed police officers being dispatched to Hong Kong. However, some Western media has been hyping the matter during the escalated chaos across the city triggered by anti-extradition bill movement in August and September 2019. Only if there is a state of emergency can forces including mainland police and armed police be deployed, according to the Basic Law.
Several sources close to the Hong Kong Police Force refuted reports that the central government is sending hundreds of armed police officers to Hong Kong. This is considered as an apparent intent by some media to abuse the National Security Law as a safeguarding mechanism and downplay the central government's efforts to maintain "one country, two systems."
However, sending armed police to Hong Kong has also been a topic hyped by Western media, for example, when hundreds of armed police officers staged a drill featuring large-scaled anti-riot exercises in Shenzhen in August, 2019, some foreign media speculated that the central government was planning to send armed police officers to Hong Kong to "suppress" the Hong Kong protests. Some said "it was flexing muscles" or was "running intimidating stimulation drills."
Japan's Kyodo News reported on Saturday that China will send 200 to 300 officers from people's armed police force to Hong Kong as "observers" to enforce the National Security Law for Hong Kong, and that armed police will stay in Hong Kong for the long term.
Joe Chan Cho-kwong, former chairman of the Junior Police Officers' Association in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), told the Global Times on Monday that although the news has not been verified, he believes the reports are indeed an exaggeration
Ronny Chan Man-tak, chairman of the Hong Kong Police Force Superintendents' Association, also rebutted the report, claiming it's unnecessary and unreasonable for the armed police force to come to Hong Kong as observers, as they can communicate with Hong Kong police through the Ministry of Public Security.
Chan said some media reports served only to hype the National Security Law for Hong Kong, smear the central government to incite panic among residents and stir up "white terror."
"More importantly, we need more detailed auxiliary ordinances under the National Security Law to identify within what kinds of situation the armed police could enforce the law in Hong Kong. Until now, we haven't seen any of that yet," Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times.
"It's even more bizarre to say 'they are being sent as observers,' which is clearly hyping the concepts that some anti-government forces and Western media are creating - that of a police state," he said.
The media reports came after police forces in both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong vowed to resolutely implement the National Security Law for Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Police Commissioner Chris Tang Ping-keung said that the newly established national security department of the Hong Kong Police Force will fully cooperate with the Hong Kong committee for safeguarding national security, and will hold accountable those who attempt to split the country, China Central Television reported on Monday.
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security on Saturday also vowed to fully support the central government's office for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong police force's operations to protect the nation's sovereignty, security and development interests.
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