The command of the People’s Liberation military garrison in Hong Kong and also the city’s leader safeguarded Beijing’s push for brand-new national security laws governing the territory.

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People’s Liberation military soldiers at a barracks in Hong Kong in October.Credit...Lam Yik Fei because that The brand-new York Times

The commander of China’s armed forces garrison in Hong Kong stated in an interview post Tuesday that forces stationed there would certainly “resolutely” defend the country’s national security interests, a spicy reminder that Beijing’s ultimate power to force its ascendancy over the semiautonomous territory.

The commander’s remarks came as Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, safeguarded the main government’s plan to draft brand-new national security laws to punish acts of disagreement or subversion, even though the process sidestepped the territory’s very own legislative process.

“Rights and also freedoms are not absolute,” Mrs. Lam claimed at her continuous weekly news conference in Hong Kong.

“If a decimal of people, without doubt a very little minority the people, room going to breach the regulation to organize and also participate in terrorist tasks to subvert the state power, climate of course they have to be bounded by the necessary legislation,” she said.

She added that the brand-new legislation plan, submitted to the nationwide People’s conference in Beijing last week, had actually a “positive response” in Hong Kong and would have actually “the opposite effects of what overseas politicians have said,” bringing better stability and also confidence, not greater repression.

Hong Kong’s cook executive, Carrie Lam, throughout a news conference in Hong Kong on Tuesday.Credit...Vincent Yu/Associated Press

The proposal touched turn off a brand-new wave the protests in Hong Kong over the weekend, with thousands pouring into the streets on Sunday, defying constraints put in place due to the fact that of the coronavirus epidemic. Over there were regular clashes between protesters and the police, and also at the very least 180 people were arrested. Numerous were injured.

The garrison commander, Maj. Gen. Chen Daoxiang, handle the instance in Hong Kong in one interview ~ above the sidelines of the nationwide People’s conference in Beijing, wherein he serves together one of nearly 3,000 delegates come the annual legislative gathering.

General Chen said the new legislation would deter “all kinds of separatist forces and also external treatment forces,” echoing the check out of Mrs. Lam and others in China’s political management that the protests have actually international support intended to weaken the Communist Party’s dominance over the city.

“Garrison officers and also soldiers are determined, confident, and also capable that safeguarding national sovereignty, security and advancement interests and also maintaining the long-term prosperity and also stability the Hong Kong,” basic Chen said in an interview v China’s state television network, CCTV.

Antigovernment protesters marched in Hong Kong ~ above Sunday regardless of social-distancing rules.Credit...Lam Yik Fei because that The brand-new York Times

The video clip of the interview was accompanied by scenes of previous army training exercises, including drills against rioters and also marine operations in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor. Some of the clips showed up to it is in from operations last year, as soon as the protests overwhelmed the city and the People’s Liberation Army and also the People’s equipped Police sent out a rise of new troops into and also near Hong Kong.

“I have never heard the a garrison official in Hong Kong publicly commenting top top Hong Kong’s affairs, even though of course the law is being done in Beijing,” claimed the pro-democracy lawmaker Tanya Chan, phone call the relocate “shocking.”

The Hong Kong garrison the the People’s Liberation military is based in what was formerly the British army headquarters top top Hong Kong Island. The garrison has at the very least 19 sites roughly the territory, but it has typically kept a short profile in the city due to the fact that the handover from British manage in 1997. Numerous of that is soldiers — estimates of the full vary indigenous 6,000 come 10,000 — live and train in bases across the border in Shenzhen.

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At the peak of the protests late last summer, the military and armed police rotated new troops in indigenous the mainland, calling that a routine redeployment, yet many are thought to have actually never left, providing Beijing a bigger reserve pressure in the are in situation the security situation spirals out of control.

Mrs. Lam stated that the main government relocated to breeze its own national security laws since the Legislative the supervisory board had, for years, been unable to compose its very own laws, as forced by post 23 of the territory’s basic Law, the mini-constitution the governs its to work under the formula recognized as “one country, 2 systems.”