PLA holds military drill in HK, locals invited to observe

Updated: 2015-07-04 21:36


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HONG KONG - The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison started a live-fire exercise in Hong Kong suburb on Saturday, the first of its kind since 1997 that local residents are invited to observe.

At the Tsing Shan shooting range in the New Territories, soldiers with armored vehicles, anti-tank rockets and gunships from army, navy and air force of the garrison carried out a simulation of downtown Hong Kong defending.

During the drill, six military helicopters were mobilized to fire on targets marked on mountains from distances of up to 1 km. Mortars and rocket-propelled grenades were also used in the exercise.

Over 500 people from all walks of life observed the "Hong Kong Defender-2015C" exercise, which was part of the garrison's plan during this summer following two exercises in May and June.

Spectators gave the well-trained soldiers rounds of applause during the 40-minute drill.

"The soldiers are so impressive! I feel very safe to have them around," said Lam Shuk Yee, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions.

Military commentator Ma Ding-shing said the live-fire exercise showed the PLA Hong Kong Garrison is resolute and capable of safeguarding the country's security and sovereignty.

Three arms of the PLA, army, navy and air force, have garrisoned the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.