In comparison with the troops on the Chinese Mainland,
the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has to deal with quite a number of special
circumstances when carrying out defense missions---one of them being the
"special relations between the military and the local government ". According to
the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC
and the Garrison Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the
PRC, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison is
not under the command of the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region and they shouldn't interfere with each other's business, and yet, they
are required to respect and support each other. The officers and men of the
garrison are not allowed to contact or associate with the residents of Hong Kong
as one pleases, but should carry out the fine tradition of showing loving care
to and cherishing the local people.
How have they fared in dealing with such special military-government and
military-civilian relations over the past decade? It can be epitomized in the
In the past decade, the garrison has made it a rule to carry out the event
of "regulations and laws month" every year to strengthen the awareness of the
officers and men in implementing the regulations and laws. To avoid disturbing
the local people, the garrison has given up the practice of using bugles as
orders as they do on the Chinese Mainland and therefore, no sound of bugles can
be heard in the barracks. The Air Force has done its best to avoid flight
training at the rest time or in the densely populated areas in order to free the
local people from noise disturbances. Taking into consideration the residents'
swimming and recreational needs, the Naval Force has picked the wee hours of the
morning to do training on the beach and wrap it up on the early morning.
Frequent contacts yield closer relations between relatives, and more
exchange and communication increase common grounds. Over the past decade, the
garrison opened its barracks to Hong Kong residents 13 times, receiving over
270,000 person/times of visits, organized 5,500 odd person/times to participate
in the voluntary tree-planting activities in Hong Kong and have planted over
30,000 trees, organized more than 3,600 person/times of blood donation and
donated 1.59 million ml of blood, attended festive celebration events and
theatrical performances organized by the government of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region for 30 odd times, and dispatched officers and men to visit
the elderly in the nursing and caring centers of Hong Kong on separate
occasions. Through those events, the garrison has got increasingly integrated
into the Hong Kong society and enhanced the understanding of the Hong Kong
residents about the garrison.
Over the past decade, upon the invitation of the government of the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison participated in
nine maritime rescue exercises over air disasters. On last July 12, the garrison
conducted the first perils-of-the-sea rescue exercise jointly with the Maritime
Affair Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government as
well as the Flying Service Team, the Maritime Police and the Fire Fighting
Department of Hong Kong. On November 12 last year, the garrison held a joint
military-police rescue exercise with the Police Affairs Department of the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region Government.
Over the past decade, the garrison also received visits to the garrison by
foreign military attaches to China and carried out exchanges with foreign
officers and men who were in Hong Kong with their visiting aircraft and ships.
Through those events, the garrison has not only made known publicly China's
sovereignty over Hong Kong and enhanced the exchanges and understandings, but
also displayed its good image of a mighty and civilized force that loves Hong
Kong and cherishes the Hong Kong people.
By Zhong Youguo and Gao Jiquan
(Jun 29, PLA Daily)