Chinese military vehicles have been seen crossing the border into Hong Kong. The Chinese military has said these are regular troop movements but many are speculating these movements are in preparation for a military crackdown amid the ongoing protests and unrest.
Witnesses reported the movements in the early morning hours on Thursday. Xinhua, the state-run news agency reported that the Hong Kong Garrison of the People’s Liberation Army were making a scheduled “annual rotation“
Photos published by Xinhua showed armored carriers, trucks and troops at the border, and naval ships arriving in Hong Kong.
Xinhua noted the two previous rotations in 2017 and 2018 occurred on the same day and time and that troop numbers and equipment had not changed.
Organisers had planned for major protests on Saturday and cancelled a demonstration scheduled for Thursday, after police banned the event.
Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok said in a interview with RTHK, “I believe this is a deliberate posture on the part of the PLA to tell or warn the Hong Kong people that it may be deployed… As I said time and again, the use of troops in Hong Kong will be the end of Hong Kong, and I would warn against any such move on the part of the central people’s government”
As Fears of a crackdown continue to rise, the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association said Wednesday it had received reports that the local government may restrict access to select websites and apps.