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Chinese paramilitary are massing near Hong Kong

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 15, 2019 - Duration: 01:16s

Chinese paramilitary are massing near Hong Kong

Images have emerged of hundreds of armored vehicles and members of a Chinese anti-terrorism force gathered across a bridge from Hong Kong.

It underlines legal experts who say that Beijing may be preparing to use terrorism laws to restore order to the civil unrest.

Ryan Brooks reports.

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Chinese paramilitary are massing near Hong Kong

Hundreds of Chinese paramilitary forces were spotted near the border with Hong Kong on Thursday (August 15).

Parking spaces at a stadium in the mainland city of Shenzhen were filled with more than a hundred vehicles, right near a bridge to Hong Kong's rural New Territories.

The troop trucks and armored vehicles -- including some with water cannon -- belong to the People's Armed Police.

The Communist Party says the force handles incidents including riots and terrorist attacks.

The U.S. State Department has said it's "deeply concerned" about forces at the border, and whether they could be used to break up the city's months-long protests.

Chinese state media have mentioned exercises in Shenzhen several times, though this week the editor of state-run tabloid the Global Times tweeted the exercises were quote "a clear warning." A warning to Hong Kong after weeks of protests that have often grown violent.

However, Western diplomats in Hong Kong told Reuters they think it all amounts to posturing and that the vehicles aren't about to roll over the border.

Even with tear gas in the streets, they say they're confident that for now Beijing doesn't have the appetite to march forces on Hong Kong's streets and the international condemnation - and sanctions - that could follow.

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