PLA Hong Kong garrison: "A stabilizer in Hong Kong"

China Military Online
Zhang Tao


File photo shows female soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region carry out public welfare activities for children.

From making concessions to avoid trouble to protecting rights according to law

"The more we protect our own rights and interests with legal means, the more respect we get from the Hong Kong society."

On January 24, 2016, a strong cold wave arrived in Hong Kong and the ground at a mountain duty point was frozen, which was very rare. Tens of tourists were trapped on the mountain and had to wait for rescue at the security booth.

Seeing that more people gathered at the security booth that was only 30m away from the PLA garrison's barracks and they had limited food and drinking water, Dai Hang, an officer of the duty point, couldn't make a decision. Is it against the Hong Kong law if the garrison provides assistance? But can we watch the tourists in trouble and do nothing?

Dai Hang called political commissar Chen Wenxian, who asked Dai to provide assistance immediately and reported to his superiors at the same time and got a positive reply. The garrison providing assistance wasn't against any rules and it should do its best to help the trapped Hong Kong residents.

"Vessel movement is risky, ensuring safety by observing the law". This is a slogan posted on the corridor of a military vessel.

"Hong Kong laws set a lot of restrictions on exercise and training, which many officers are not accustomed to at first." Jiang Bo felt deeply about this, "but now, the garrison soldiers have changed their way of thinking and are used to promoting their work through legal means."

The Victoria Harbour is one of the busiest ports in the world where numerous ships come and go every single day, including military vessels.

In October 2014, the guided-missile frigate Huizhou took shelter from typhoon at To Kwa Wan of Victoria Harbour. On its way there, a Star Ferry overtook Huizhou's bow and made a lateral movement, and a local cargo freight was less than 100m behind Huizhou. If Huizhou slowed down suddenly, it would avoid a collision with the Star Ferry, but a rear collision with the cargo freight wouldn’t be avoidable.

"15 degrees to the left, take the opposite route to avoid the ferry, overtake it and then sail back to normal route," intern captain Zhang Mingshuai gave an order, and demanded the navigator to record the whole event in great detail, including the hull number of the two local ships, in preparation for a possible lawsuit.

As he expected, the garrison received a complaint from Hong Kong Marine Department three days later, saying that "frigate Huizhou sailed for about 300m in the opposite direction against traffic rules."In response, Huizhou submitted detailed evidence and legal basis to the other party at first opportunity, and the Hong Kong authority withdrew the complaint that very day.

When it first came to Hong Kong, the garrison tried to make concessions to avoid trouble, but this incident taught it a lesson - the more it protectsits own rights and interests with legal means, the more respect it will get from the Hong Kong society.

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