PLA's Hong Kong Garrison

-Swaran Singh,Research Officer, IDSA

 

Apart from stationing troops in Hong Kong, how else can China display its sovereignty over Hong Kong?

-- Deng Xiaoping1

The date July 1, 1997, is an important one that marks restoration of China's sovereignty over Hong Kong. In the words of the late Deng Xiaoping, who propounded the principle of "one country, two systems" which forms the basis of Hong Kong's return, what else could provide a greater symbol to this than the fact that China, among other thing, will then on become responsible for the defence of Hong Kong. It is from this day, therefore, that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will finally take over responsibilities as the last soldier of the British Army departs from Hong Kong. As of now, all arrangements are going on on time and the selected unit of the PLA will be garrisoned in Hong Kong with effect from 0000 hours on July 1, 1997. The designated Commander of this unit, General Liu Zhenwu, has been working together with his Hong Kong counterpart, Major General Bryan Dutton, who has also inspected the preparations of China's PLA contingent for Hong Kong which he described to be extremely impressive. As a result, in terms of performance potential, the PLA's garrison is, in fact, being widely expected to be better skilled and better supported than that of Britain.

In keeping with the provisions of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, there will also be a few other basic differences between the armed forces of the PLA and Great Britain. For one, unlike the outgoing British forces in Hong Kong, the PLA forces will have absolutely no role in the local affairs except for providing assistance, whenever sought by the local civil administration (and approved by the central government), that too only in the maintenance of social order and in rescue efforts in cases of natural disasters. At the same time, in addition to observing national laws, officers and men of the garrison forces must observe Hong Kong laws and this is interesting because, at least to begin with, not all the laws might fully conform with those of the central government, though for the future, Hong Kong will not be able to enact laws which contravene the existing laws of the central government. And finally, it is the central government which will be responsible for all the the PLA garrison's military expenditures.

PLA's Showcase to the World

But what makes the PLA's takeover of Hong Kong so special is the fact that this "treasure island of the Orient" is being seen as China's bridge to the capitalist world and accordingly world attention has been focussed on how China handles this experiment. The much maligned post-1989 PLA accordingly has been trying its best to use this opportunity to present its human face. The Chinese leadership has thus attached great importance to the organisation and establishment of the PLA garrison in Hong Kong, selecting their men and officers strictly on the basis of fine discipline and appearance to rightly project to the world the military and political culture of their armed forces.

As one indication of this high level of concern, the Central Military Commission (CMC) had not only entrusted itself with special power to be the direct incharge of this Hong Kong garrison but, in that capacity, had ordered the headquarters of the Guangzhou Military Region to start recruiting troops for the Hong Kong garrison as early as 1994, and the work on their selection had been completed as early as on February 28, 1996, i.e. 519 days before they formally assumed their actual responsibilities. This PLA garrison for Hong Kong has since been stationed at Tong Le Military Camp (near Shenzhen in Guangdong province) where it has been undergoing tough political and military training and has since been reviewed by various high ranking Hong Kong and Chinese journalists, officials and political leaders, with most of them praising their performance.

Also, as the special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong should have been normally manned by the PLA's troops of the concerned provincial military distict. But keeping in view the significance of Hong Kong as China's showcase and its window to the world, the leadership has made some special arrangements for this PLA garrison. In China, under each major military region there are several provincial military districts which are expected to obey the leadership and command of the former. Under such a system, the Guangzhou Military Regions should normally be the direct superior to the Hong Kong garrison. However, due to Hong Kong's special status, the garrison is also under the direct command of the CMC which clearly indicates the political significance and orientation of this garrison.

New Norms of Recruitment

President Jiang Zemin is reported to have shown a great deal of concern in the building of this PLA garrison and is said to have personally written their inscription: "Keep the true qualities of the People's Army, and safeguard the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong."2 Also, he has repeatedly intervened and sent written orders for resolving various operational problems with regard to selection and training of this garrison. Moreover, in tune with their motto "images are more important than lives," the officers and men of this garrison have not only been trained to be "qualified politically and competent militarily" but are known for their fine style of work, maintaining strict discipline and are assured of adequate logistical support.3

Compared to soldiers nationwide, where under conscription junior middle school graduates can be drafted, the troops for the Hong Kong garrison are required to be at least senior middle school graduates. There are even stricter rules on the recruitment of officers, who are required to be college or university graduates. The PLA's Hong Kong garrison has also selected its ground, naval, and Air Force units from amongst the well-known regiments and includes infantry battalions, a naval unit, and Air Force airmen who are known for their performance in the past years. For example, the ground force unit is the former "Red Army First Regiment" which has a history of having made meritorious contributions during the Long March, the War of Resistance Against Japan, the War of Liberation and the War to Resist US Intervention in Aid of Korea in 1953. Similarly, the Hong Kong garrison fleet is made up of vessels from the same naval unit that produced "Sea Vanguards" and "Sea Heroes" who have been trained in sea searches, blockades, rescues, shipment of personnel and materials and have been familiarised with Hong Kong's waters. And the air unit has been drawn from the Air Force Transport Division which apart from its contributions towards disaster management, has been known for being the carriers for China's important leaders.

Moreover, entirely new requirements have also been set with regard to the height and appearance of those to be selected who, according to the new norms, are expected to be about 1.7 metres tall and have regular features.4 This, however, has also resulted in exposing the uneven and inferior quality of the PLA's forces. So much so, that one its of the best, the Guangzhou Military Region, has not been able to replenish the force, and despite its troops having the advantage of knowing Cantonese, the selection had to be later expanded to other military regions. Especially for officers at the company level and above, and those selected for replenishment in the future, the recruitment has been opened for cadres of the following seven military regions: Beijing, Nanjing, Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan, Chengdu, and Guangzhou. Similarly, selection has also been made open for graduates of various military academies, including the University of Science and Technology for National Defence, the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, the Engineering Corps Engineering Academy, and the Armoured Force Engineering Academy.

The Upwardly-Mobile Top-End

As regards its top leadership, the Hong Kong garrison is expected to consist of well-trained, upwardly mobile officers who have been identified by the top PLA leadership as "cross-century cadres."5 The garrison is at present being commanded by the designated Commander, Major General Liu Zhenwu, who is considered a high-flying moderniser amongst the PLA's Generals. He is also a much-decorated officer from the well-known elite 42 Group Army based in Huizhou (near Shenzhen) and has remained low-key, training his soldiers quietly away from the public and seldom making public appearances. He had distinguished himself by being selected as Deputy Commander of China's elite 42nd Group Army at the age of 40 and now at 52, he still has a long way to go and is widely expected to be soon promoted to Lieutenant General of the PLA.

Commander Liu is supported on the combat side by two Deputy Commanders, Zhou Borong and Yuan Shijun, who are both senior Colonels of the PLA. Colonel Zhou, is a known protege of CMC Chairman General Zhang Zhen and has distinguished himself as a strategist and an expert on Western Armies at the National Defence University. Also having spent two years at a British defence college, he is known to be on good terms with a number of British officers and is expected to play an important role in liaison with the British and other foreign military forces and their representatives. The political wing of the garrison will be headed by a Political Commissar, Major-General Xiong Ziren, who is assisted by a Deputy Political Commissar, Senior Colonel Wang Yufa and the Director of the Political Department, Senior Colonel He Hongshu. These officers were selected as early as 1994 and have stayed in place without any change. And as of now, they are expected to continue in place during the establishment of the Hong Kong garrison in Hong Kong.

Intense Training

With its leadership being known for higher standards, the PLA's Hong Kong garrison has also been subject to strict doctrinal and operational training which has been described as being only little short of stiff and harsh. Among other things, the cadres, for example, are expected to memorise provisions of the Basic Law, Joint Declaration and to know details about Hong Kong's local laws, norms and customs.6 This is being done to ensure that the PLA garrison is seen to surpass the British garrison both in terms of skills and other intrinsic qualities. As part of their operational training, their day normally would start with common military drill following which they undergo training in their special areas. The infantry, for example, receives training in a wide range of subjects, including shooting, wall-climbing, physical agility, boxing, and physical training on both horizontal and parallel bars; the artillery corps in cannon-clearing and orientation, and so on. In the afternoon, the units conduct study of specific subjects, including the Basic Law, common laws currently practised in Hong Kong, Hong Kong's local customs and practices, and even its general economic and geographic knowledge, and simple English conversation. And this routine has been going on unabated over the last two years.

Three Dimensional Combat Force

Also, keeping in view its special importance, the CMC had required that the PLA's Hong Kong garrison should have a three dimensional combat effectiveness. This means that except for submarine and second artillery units, the garrison will be composed of the conventional services of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, including the infantry, artillery corps, armoured force, and engineer units of the Army, surface warships of the Navy and the helicopters and fighters of the Air Force which is being equipped with Jian-8 fighters which will be otherwise parked inside Guangdong boundaries, either at Huiyang or Shantou. This is being done primarily to symbolise China's sovereignty over Hong Kong's land, skies and territorial waters. Also, in operational terms, according to the requirements of the CMC, the Hong Kong garrison force will adopt an establishment that is totally different--six-six formation compared to its traditional three-three establishment.

It also interesting to observe how in keeping with the PLA's deliberate low-profile, the Chinese leadership has also been playing with the numbers of the garrison. To start with, the official media kept on giving the number of the Hong Kong garrison as being 6,000 troops. As of now, it appears that the PLA's Hong Kong garrison is to have a total of 10,000 troops of which 8,000 will be from the Army and 1,000 each from the Navy and Air Force. Moreover, by adding on the personnel who will be working in logistic bases located in the mainland as also the reserve force for relief duty, the total number has been estimated to be about 20,000 troops. This is because the PLA garrison has adopted a unique technique called the six-six establishment.

The "Six-Six" Establishment

Traditionally, the PLA formations have been based on what is known as the three-three establishment which means that three squads constitute a platoon, three platoons form a company, and three companies make up a battalion. Of course, lately the PLA has generally been practising a totally modular establishment, under which Army units and troops can be arranged in different ways according to the needs of the different tasks at hand. A division, for example, can be paired with an armoured vehicle regiment when it is to take the offensive, and paired with an artillery regiment if it performs garrison duty. Nevertheless, the PLA essentially remains a three-three establishment. And here, to make the Hong Kong garrison a much more self-contained and autonomous brigade, it has been formatted on a new system of six-six establishment. Under this new arrangement, the PLA garrison has been composed of six regiments, namely three infantry regiments, one artillery regiment, one armoured regiment, and one directly subordinated engineering regiment. In addition, there are also the directly subordinated regimental-level flight unit and directly subordinated naval unit (at the regiment level) under the garrison force.

Similarly, the terms and conditions of their service are also different for the Hong Kong garrison troops. For example, while the mainland troops are generally relieved every three years, the service tour in the Hong Kong garrison is likely to last up to five years. Also, during their posting in Hong Kong, the personnel will not only be subject to local laws but also various other restrictions on their movements. In fact, under the PLA's Military Law Division, a special military tribunal is being set up to deal with the Hong Kong garrison troops who might contravene any of the local, mainland or any other military laws during their posting in Hong Kong.7 Also, a special law, the Garrison Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), has already been especially formulated in this regard and it clearly lays down the responsibilities, scope of authority and management provisions, and is expected to work as a practical guide for the PLA's Hong Kong garrison.

Other Agencies

Besides, for its optimum performance, the PLA garrison will also be dependent on various other auxiliary organisations like its police force and intelligence agencies. In the case of China, in fact, its police force and intelligence agencies have traditionally been only part of the PLA's forces, all of which function under the direct control of one sole authority, the CMC. Accordingly, a number of mainland China's intelligence departments have also been preparing for over two years and many of these have already established joint working organs in the neighbouring Guangdong province. These will be responsible for collecting information and handling anti-espionage matters during Hong Kong's transitional period. Relevant personnel of these organs will also be stationed in Hong Kong after July 1, 1997. In Hong Kong, these organs will perform functions similar to those of the former Political Department of the Police Headquarters, which has since been disbanded. Among others, its primary purpose will be to prevent foreign forces from infiltrating Hong Kong during this transitory period and making use of Hong Kong as a "base" to subvert China's sovereignty.

In this regard, the police departments of the two sides have already established a strong network through the International Police Organisation (Interpol) ever since China joined Interpol in 1984. The police departments on both sides have already held over two dozen regular meetings in Beijing and Hong Kong since 1985, exchanging ideas, information and experiences, as also coordinating actions and solving problems in cooperation. According to their studies, the number of cases of cross-border smuggling, drug trafficking, theft, swindling and robbery have been on the rise since the 1980s, increasingly endangering the peace and security of both the mainland and Hong Kong people. And here their cooperation in dealing with crime has provided an important input in mutual military confidence-building.

According to Bai Jingfu, China's Vice-Minister of Public Security, during this one decade of working together, the mainland police have coordinated with the Hong Kong police to investigate more than 1,000 criminal cases and, in turn, the Hong Kong police has helped the mainland police to investigate some 500 cases. The Chinese police arrested more than 70 Hong Kong criminals on their wanted list and extradited them to the Hong Kong police. Similarly, they also seized more than 110 stolen Hong Kong cars and container tractors and nine cruisers, turning them over to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong police also provided clues for solving cases to the Interpol National Central Bureau of China and captured some wanted criminals and returned thousands of pieces of cultural relics to the mainland after they were smuggled to Hong Kong. All this shows, that without making much fuss, both sides have been working towards facilitating the PLA's smooth entry into Hong Kong, compared to keeping doors closed until the last minute.

Fears and Apprehensions

However, all these hurried arrangements and hectic preparations have also resulted in generating fears and apprehensions amongst Hong Kong's citizens and other international observers. To begin with, apart from those like the Liberal Democrats who have been critical and apprehensive of the PLA's takeover because of their ideological (or political) reasons, it is those China-born residents who came to Hong Kong as fugitives from the Communist Red Guards in 1949 who remain particularly sceptical of the PLA's troops. There are, of course, reasons for this. This scepticism and anti-China sentiments have also been particularly reinforced by the following policies and actions of the Chinese themselves:

(a) China's ruthless conduct during the Tiananmen Square crisis;

(b) its continued bullying tactics against Taiwan's attempts towards evolving an alternative democratic political system; and

(c) its diplomatic showdown with the United States.

But the Chinese leaders are perhaps fully aware of these difficulties. This is why projecting a humane face and ensuring a smooth transfer of power has come to be such top priority for those dealing with Hong Kong. This also partly explains why these leaders have maintained such a low profile in working out details and carrying out other hectic preparations towards deploying China's police, intelligence and military personnel following their takeover of Hong Kong.

The New Environment

There are certainly some genuine problems. As for the future, keeping in mind that Hong Kong's capitalist system is expected to stay for at least the coming 50 years, the PLA forces are going to face an entirely new environment--in fact, one which they have been doctrinated and groomed to defy. Fears, on the other hand, have been expressed with regard to the impact that their exposure to higher standards of living in Hong Kong will have on their discipline, morale and ethos. This perhaps partly explains why the PLA plans to keep their troops fairly guarded against mixing with the locals, for this sudden exposure might create some kind of confusion and backlash from within the armed forces. Occasionally reports have been coming of these cadets trying to defy certain public discipline in Shenzhen by doing things like travelling without tickets and picking up fights for being asked to pay the fare. This has partly also resulted from their strict selection which makes them feel like part of an elite organisation.

Fears have been expressed that the PLA garrison is very likely to be tempted to join in business operations and then be used to obtain special incentives in mainland China; this might make them break their promises of strictly observing local laws and regulations. But the Chinese leadership has taken care of this and, according to the new garrison, unlike their counterparts in the mainland, the PLA troops in Hong Kong will also be strictly prohibited from undertaking any business ventures or any other non-military activities. In fact, the troops wanting to spend their off-duty hours outside the camp will be expected to provide a good reason for this and will still have to leave and return in groups under escort which might actually end up increasing the communication gap between the PLA garrison and the local citizens. The salaries for officers and men in the Hong Kong garrison which are expected to be about 20 per cent higher than of those serving in mainland China may also not match the higher living standards in Hong Kong. The Commander of the garrison, Major General Liu Zhenwu, for example, will be earning far less than the monthly welfare payment to the elderly in Hong Kong.8 This surely is a strong disparity and might actually result in creating its own complications with regard to getting a posting in Hong Kong which at present is being considered as a favour.9 Accusations in this regard have also been repeatedly heard in the Press.

Strategic Naval Base

Fears have also been expressed with regard to China being tempted to develop Hong Kong as its power projection naval or Air Force base for controlling the South China Sea or for obtaining operational reach into the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This is because, apart from its strategic location into the South China Sea, Hong Kong also has the merit of being the largest single deep water port along the entire coast of mainland China. Accordingly, despite China having other naval bases, Hong Kong harbour will be best suited to accommodate an aircraft carrier force which China remains determined to evolve.10 According to the US Office of Naval Intelligence's, "Worldwide Challenges to Naval Strike Warfare," the PLA Navy has assigned top priority to the development of aircraft carriers. It cities documents prepared for China's National People's Congress indicating how China is preparing two 48,000-ton ships with a complement of up to 40 fixed-wing aircraft that are expected to be ready by the year 2005.11

But there are many other factors that make one believe that this attraction may still not be so compelling. In fact, there are many dangers and disincentives in building any naval or Air Force base in Hong Kong. To start with, there is no way that China could maintain any secrecy about any military build-up in Hong Kong. They cannot stop people from visiting or taking photographs whereas Zhanjiang, for example, has very restricted access. Moreover, looking at the standards of living in Hong Kong, any military build-up is also going to prove a great deal more expensive compared to similar construction programmes on the mainland. At least this will severely limit their capacity to deploy troops in Hong Kong which will be required to man their bases. But more than anything else, Chinese leaders clearly realise the importance of using Hong Kong as their showcase window to the entire world and to make this transition perfectly peacefully, they are not very likely to take any steps that might offend the local people, at least not in the next few years.

Legal Provisions

As regards their immediate future, it is their day-to-day administration that is likely to cause problems. And here, it is the special position of the PLA forces in the mainland that might clash with the rising expectations with regard to individual freedoms that have come to be so much valued by Hong Kong citizens. For example, the legal provisions governing the conduct of this new PLA garrison in Hong Kong, the Law on Stationing of Troops in Hong Kong SAR, passed earlier this year, obtains these troops some special privileges which have also caused apprehensions. Firstly, clause one of Article 7 of this law stipulates that the troops facilities, such as aircraft and naval vessels, materials, and military personnel on duty who have certificates and documents issued by the garrison, as well as vehicles, will be free from checks, search and detention by the law-enforcers of the Hong Kong SAR.12 Similarly, clause one of Article 10 stipulates that the Hong Kong SAR government shall provide necessary convenience to the troops for the fulfilment of their duties, and guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of the troops and military personnel and provide other support to the troops to fulfil their obligations for defence purposes.13

And finally, there can always be many more day-to-day operational difficulties which will make written provisions prone to subjective interpretations. The PLA troops stationed in Hong Kong, for example, shall be subordinate to the CMC, which will have the final authority specifically charting out missions for these PLA units towards defending the Hong Kong SAR. This means that the PLA's garrison will not be within the jurisdiction of local Hong Kong authorities, and thus Beijing will have the final word on what constitutes the Hong Kong SAR's defence. Going by the precedents of Beijing trying to scrap many laws that grant Hong Kong citizens various liberties and freedoms, fears have also been expressed on how the PLA might impose its own interpretations of various legal provisions. China, for example, might be interested in bolstering Hong Kong's naval base which has a critical location in China's dealings with Taiwan. And here, for the proposed dredging of ports, new transport ships and other modernisation, the bill could quite possibly end up with the Hong Kong SAR.14

Similarly, the PLA has also been found too eager to move into Hong Kong. According to the Commander of the garrison, Major General Liu Zhenwu, deploying advance teams is necessary "to ensure that the entire force makes a punctual and smooth entrance into Hong Kong."15 The PLA has also been accused of seeking to avoid having to register all weapons and other strategic goods that it brings into Hong Kong.16 The Basic Law, for example, provides that the central government will be responsible for the expenses of its troops in Hong Kong, and the people of Hong Kong will not have to pay for their military expenses. This, of course, includes that while carrying out defence missions, these PLA troops will need full and effective logistic support which will be at least partly provided by the Hong Kong SAR government. This means the burden of these troops will be at least partly shared by the Hong Kong SAR citizens. But to overcome these uncertainties, the two sides have been cooperating on various matters for quite some time.

First Deployment

In fact, in this context of scepticism and uncertainly, the recent agreement between the Sino-British Liaison Group in mid-April has been the only positive event following the overdrawn controversy and clash between the two sides that had followed China's decision to install a shadow legislature earlier this year and its decision to disband Hong Kong's elected legislature as on July 1, 1997, though its normal term extends until the next two more years. According to this agreement on the PLA's first deployment in Hong Kong, both sides agreed to deploy a 42-member PLA unit in Hong Kong with effect from April 21, 1997, which is 70 days before the PLA actually takes over responsibilities in Hong Kong. This agreement, arrived at after protracted negotiations has been a compromise solution where both sides have agreed to give up some of their demands. As per the government, the deployment took effect in the following manner.

The advance PLA party is led by a Major General who is the Deputy Commander of the PLA's future Hong Kong garrison. Of these, 29 PLA personnel will be located with the British garrison at what is called the Prince of Wales Barracks near the central business district on Hong Kong Island. The other 12 members of the advance party will be stationed along with the British "Black Watch" regiment of the British Army on Stonecutters Island in Kowloon, the same island on which the Royal Navy base was formally closed on April 11, 1997.17 This unit is particularly symbolic because according to their Joint Declaration of 1984, China is supposed to replace and take over all the military installations that the British had during their rule. As regards their conduct until July 1, 1997, China was initially adamant that these PLA troops should have their own weapons and equipment and should wear their PLA uniform. But as of the final agreement, this advance party does not carry any weapons and other equipment from the mainland. Also, they will be able to wear their PLA uniform only during their duty hours, that too while within the military camp and not outside. However, they will have access to all the bases and other facilities which is required to facilitate making preparations for the formal takeover of all these facilities and bases by the PLA, as it moves into Hong Kong on July 1, 1997.

Conclusion

It was in 1840 that the British had by force annexed Hong Kong from China following the latter's defeat in a war that was concluded with the signing of the Nanjing Treaty in 1841. Since then, it was never clear whether Hong Kong would revert to China as the British lease came to an end in 1997, until the Sino-British Joint Declaration of December 1984 had been signed and ratified by both sides. Even after that agreement, these last 12 years have been full of complications. These were primarily due to the fact that it was only during this last one decade of their 156 years of occupation of Hong Kong that the British administration has been trying to introduce political reforms. And it is these hurriedly implemented democratic reforms that the Chinese leadership find misplaced and uncalled for, and they have made it clear that they intend to rewrite many of these documents, including Hong Kong's Bill of Rights.18

And finally, for China, which had been colonised for long years, the actual takeover of Hong Kong will be a historic event that marks its momentum towards recovering from its dismemberment by the imperial powers. At least the Chinese leaders remain determined to view this in that manner. Accordingly, this strict selection, training and other projections with regard to the PLA's Hong Kong garrison are only part of their grander design to make a proper projection of China's image as a benign power that has serious concerns about Hong Kong's civil liberties and other freedoms. And despite obvious complications, going by the change in public opinion during the last two to three years, these special efforts by the Chinese leadership are very likely to generate confidence, and win the hearts and minds of Hong Kong citizens. There could also be no other better way of implementing (displaying) China's sovereingty over Hong Kong.

NOTES

1. China's paramount leader Deng had said this as early as on October 3, 1984, while addressing a delegation of Hong Kong and Macao compatriots who were in Beijing to attend National Day ceremonies. This was incorporated in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of December 19, 1984. The detailed arrangements were later incorporated in Article 14 of the "Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China" which was adopted by the Third Session of the Seventh National People's Congress of China on April 4, 1990.

2. "PRC: Editorial Applauds Founding of Hong Kong Garrison," Foreign Broadcast Information Service-China-96-023-S, (henceforth FBIS-CHI) February 2, 1996, p. 1.

3. "PRC: Hong Kong Garrison Units Receive Intense Training," FBIS-CHI-96-023-S, February 2, 1996, p. 17.

4. Ibid.

5. Willy Wo-lap Lam, "PLA Garrison: Well Trained Officers," South China Morning Post, January 29, 1997, p. 2.

6. "PLA Troops Accelerate Preparations for Stationing in Hong Kong SAR," News From China, vol. ix, no. 5, January 29, 1997, p. 9-10.

7. M.Y. Sung, "Tribunal to Handle Hong Kong Garrison Transgressions," South China Morning Post, January 30, 1996, p. 1.

8. Bruce Gilley, "Hong Kong: Men Who Matter," Far Eastern Economic Review, vol. 160, no. 14, April 3, 1997, p. 22. Compared to the salary of the Commander (of the garrison) which stands at HK$1,116, the per month welfare payment for the elderly in Hong at present is HK$2,060 and is expected to go up further.

9. The garrison Commander, after the changeover, will earn 1,200 yuan (HK$1,116) per month while the Divisional Commanders will get 1,000 yuan, Regiment Commanders 800 yuan, Company Commanders 600 yuan and Platoon leaders 500 yuan which is very low compared to average salaries in Hong Kong. Chris Yeung, "Concern Raised About 'Low Pay' of PLA Garrison Troops," South China Morning Post, January 30, 1996, p.3.

10. Swaran Singh, "China's Defence Production," in Jasjit Singh ed., Asian Strategic Review, 1994-95, (New Delhi: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, September 1995), pp. 283-84.

11. Barbara Opall, "China Ponders Role of Military in Hong Kong," Defense News, vol. 11, no. 36, September 9-15, 1996, pp. 1, 42.

12. "NPC Law Committee Vice-Chairman on Draft Law on Stationing Troops in the Hong Kong SAR," News From China, vol. ix, no. 1, January 1, 1997, pp. 6-7.

13. Ibid.

14. Tom Walker, "China Likely to Plunder Hong Kong's Financial Resources," The Statesman, June 23, 1996.

15. Bruce Gilley, "Hong Kong: Jumping the Gun," Far Eastern Economic Review, vol. 160, no. 6, February 6, 1997, p. 15.

16. Ibid.

17. Harvey Stockwin, "PLA to Arrive in Hong Kong," Times of India, April 16, 1997.

18. Dorinda Elliott, "Hong Kong: Crushed by Law," Newsweek, February 3, 1997, p. 38.