Chinese Army Helps Hong Kong with Cleaning Up the Streets
Chinese Army Helps Hong Kong with Cleaning Up the Streets. In a rare manoeuvre, soldiers of the Chinese People’s Army took to the streets in Hong Kong unarmed today for a major clean-up.
Dozens of soldiers marched with brooms and buckets from their barracks in the Kowloon district to the centre. There they cleaned up, among other things, the paving stones that anti-government protesters had left behind.
Dressed in shorts and green T-shirts, the soldiers also dismantled barricades with bare hands, as can be seen on images from the RTHK channel. It was the first time Chinese soldiers had been on the street since the unrest began five months ago. Together with residents, they also cleaned up around Hong Kong Baptist University, a stronghold of student resistance against the growing Chinese influence on the city government.
The Hong Kong local government says it has not asked for help from the Chinese army. The garrison itself has spontaneously taken the initiative, according to a spokesperson for the metropolitan administration, without giving an opinion on it.
This is our initiative. It is our responsibility to stop violence and end the chaos, “said a social media soldier. A similar text has previously been used by Chinese President Xi. Later, firefighters and police officers also helped clean up. According to the Chinese newspaper Global Times, it was a social gesture and not a hint that the soldiers could take action if the violence continued.
Pro-Chinese demonstrators have also taken action today in the city to demonstrate against the increasingly violent anti-government demonstrations of recent months. The demonstrators expressed their support for the police that are coming under fire because of hard action against protesters who themselves are increasingly using violence.
Chinese flags and Hong Kong flags were waved. They also carried texts such as: “Police we are behind you”. Others chanted: “Support the police.” It’s not the first time pro-Chinese demonstrators took to the streets but never before were there so many. The anti-government demonstrators have been protesting for months against Beijing’s growing influence and involvement in Hong Kong.