The three-day open house that is being hosted by the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a great opportunity to promote the Hong Kong people's patriotic education and enhance recognition of their national identity, an expert said on Sunday.
PLA Hong Kong Garrison held the first open day event at its Shek Kong Barracks on Saturday morning, which was attended by about 20,000 Hong Kong residents, according to a post by the PLA Hong Kong Garrison on its official Sina Weibo account.
The garrison Sina Weibo account has more than 701,000 followers.
An unnamed official with the PLA garrison said on Saturday that the barracks would be open to the public for three days from Saturday to Monday, and tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents were expected to enter the barracks to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, PLA Daily reported on Sunday via its official WeChat account.
The first day of the open event was held at the Shek Kong and San Wai Barracks, and the final two days will be staged at the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks, said the official.
"This event is being held to introduce the modernization of China and its military, promote patriotism and military security education to a Hong Kong people, particularly for the city's youth," said Tian Feilong, Hong Kong expert and associate professor at Beihang University, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Through their interaction with PLA soldier "Hong Kong residents will understand that a better Hong Kong can only be achieved with a strong and prosperous motherland," said Tian
PLA Hong Kong Garrison's military band performed and PLA soldiers conducted exercises in combat tactics on Saturday.
Various firearms including rifles and machine guns were on display and people took pictures with them.
"Hong Kong can only be good when the motherland and armies are good," said a 72-year-old Hong Kong resident surnamed Chen at the event. He also participated in the Hong Kong handover ceremony in 1997, the report quoted him saying.
The PLA Hong Kong Garrison has hosted an open day 31 times since the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, said the report, adding that it has become a popular tradition that is loved by the people of Hong Kong.
Nearly 800,000 Hong Kong residents have visited the barracks over the last 22 years, the report noted.
Hong Kong will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of PRC and the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland on July 1, the Xinhua News Agency reported on June 5.