Chinese military to get dock in Hong Kong, despite tensions


HONG KONG: The Chinese military will be handed prime Hong Kong waterfront land on Saturday, even as the city is rocked by anti-Beijing protests and just days before the anniversary of its return to China.

Huge rallies have shaken the semi-autonomous territory this month, with demonstrators calling for the withdrawal of a bill that would allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.

More pro-democracy protests are expected in the coming days, as residents mark the anniversary of Hong Kong’s 1997 handover to Beijing’s rule.

On Saturday, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will automatically be granted control of the Victoria Harbour pier under a 1994 British and Chinese agreement.

The move will mean PLA ships could berth in the harbour, whose backdrop is the city’s famous skyline.

The PLA already has a garrison in Hong Kong, but its troops generally keep a low profile and are rarely seen in uniform in public.