China’s army in Hong Kong has released a video that shows its forces engaged in riot control, in what has been seen as a warning to protesters in Hong Kong.
The video, which was released yesterday and is now circulating on social media, contains captions such as “All consequences are taken at your own risk” and shows army members restraining protesters.
The commander of the Chinese army’s garrison in Hong Kong has also issued his first public statement on the city’s protests.
Major General Chen Daoxiang, who leads China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), warned that protests in the city have “seriously threatened the life and safety” of its citizens, at an event to mark the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist party.
The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, reported Chen as saying the protests had “seriously threatened the life and safety of Hong Kong citizens, and violated the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems'”.
“This should not be tolerated and we express our strong condemnation,” he added.
The PLA has so far refrained from commenting or intervening in the protests, which began at the end of March in opposition to a controversial bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
Protestors fear the bill could target political opponents of Beijing and undermine the principle of “one country, two systems” that has allowed Hong Kong to have its own laws.
The system, which was enshrined in the Sino-British joint declaration that guaranteed sovereignty to China in 1984, also promised that the way of life in Hong Kong would remain unchanged for at least 50 years.
The government has since suspended the bill following the outcry, but it has not been withdrawn completely.