Shenzhen police drill mirrors Hong Kong protests

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/6 13:08:19

Netizens link maneuver to adjacent Hong Kong

Police ride motorcycle in a drill held in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on Tuesday,with helicopters hovering over head. Photo: Courtesy of Shenzhen police

A total of 12,000 police officers in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province participated in a drill on Tuesday, attracting online attention as the drill features emergency scenarios that resemble the ongoing riots in adjacent Hong Kong.

Shenzhen police said that the drill aimed to maintain social stability, encourage the morale of police forces, and prepare the forces ahead of 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, according to a statement sent by the police to the Global Times on Tuesday.

Participants included all police forces - land, air and sea - and equipment such as armored cars, helicopters and amphibious vehicles. 

Screenshot of the drill of Shenzhen police. Photo: Courtesy of Shenzhen police

However, the drill attracted unusual attention on social media as many netizens, who hold a grudge against recent riots in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said the drill can also call the attention of rioters in Hong Kong, and give Hong Kong police a tip about how to deal with radical protesters.

According to video clips of the drill, people in the crowd simulating a mob wore helmets, masks and black outfits. They constantly threw objects at the shield-holding police forces, and attacked them with wooden sticks.

To deal with such violence, the police fired tear gas and sent police dogs. They used a newly developed cluster tear gas, which has wider coverage and stronger effect compared with traditional ones.

The crowd also pushed blazing carts toward police, who immediately put out the fire with fire extinguishers. 

The drill was live broadcasted via many online media platforms. 

The crowds' outfits, equipment and the manner in which they attacked the police were very similar to those of the radical protesters in Hong Kong, which prompted many netizens to link the drill with the riots in Hong Kong.

Many suggested that this could send a signal to those rioters, and called on Hong Kong police to learn from the drill. 

The live broadcast suffered from lagging streaming speeds from time to time as too many netizens were tuning in. 

Drill of Shenzhen police. Photo: Courtesy of Shenzhen police

Hong Kong police are showing restraint in dealing with the radical protesters, and their efforts to safeguard the stability of the region are winning increasing support in the Chinese mainland. 

Many mainland netizens, especially young people, who grew up watching Hong Kong crime movies and developed an admiration for Hong Kong police officers, took to social media to express their anger toward the radical anti-government protesters.

Xu Luying, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China's State Council, said Tuesday that with firm and steady support of the central government and all Chinese people including Hong Kong compatriots, the Hong Kong government and the police force have the full ability to bring violent criminals to justice and restore social order and peace.

The netizens' response and assumption came from their worries about the recent situation in Hong Kong and did not indicate the government's intention, Zhang Dinghuai, a professor at the Center for Basic Laws of Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Region of Shenzhen University, told the Global Times, noting that the central government will act according to relevant laws. 

Responding to a question concerning how to deal with Hong Kong secessionist forces, Wu Qian, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense cited the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Garrisoning of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), which stipulates that the Hong Kong government can request that the central government to allow the Chinese People's Liberation Army Garrison in Hong Kong to maintain social order and provide disaster relief when necessary.

Newspaper headline: Mass police drill in Shenzhen


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