The year 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China. At 0:00 on July 1, 1997, the troops of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison entered Hong Kong and took over the defense duty of Hong Kong from the British Forces Overseas Hong Kong.
In the past 25 years, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison servicemembers, faithfully implementing the “one country, two systems” policy, have fulfilled various defense-centered tasks with excellence.
A mighty force of self-improvement
“President Xi Jinping stressed during his inspection of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison that the Garrison troops should beal ways on the alert and make solid war-preparedness and play the role of a mainstay. To undertake this sacred mission, we should be keenly aware of potential dangers and get well prepared for the most difficult and complex situation, in an effort to keep improving the garrison's defense capability,” said Major General Peng Jingtang, commander of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison. The Garrison has been committed to fulfilling the mission and responsibility entrusted by the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and the Law of the People's Republic of China on Garrisoning the HKSAR, and attached great importance to enhancing combat capabilities, striving to forge troops of sophisticated quality to reassure the Party and the people and win the trust of the Hong Kong compatriots.
The PLA Hong Kong Garrison launches joint patrols involving the army, air and navy forces on a quarterly basis to conduct full domain guard of Hong Kong on the ground, at sea and in the air, and beef up the joint operation capability of the land, airand navy forces. This serves as an important practice for the Garrison troops to perform defense duties in accordance with the law.
In recent years, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has organized and participated in military exerciseson a yearly basis, participated in China-foreign joint exercises and training, and conducted joint drills with visiting foreign warships.
In the future, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison will make solid progress in war-preparedness, and continuously enhance its capability of performing defense duties, so as to make new contributions to maintaining long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.
Civilized and self-disciplined force, loving Hong Kong and amiable to the people
The PLA Hong Kong Garrison serves as a window to showcase the image of China and the Chinese military, from which the Hong Kong residents can learn about national defense and the motherland. Since being stationed in Hong Kong 25 years ago, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has adhered to the purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly, fulfilled its mission to guard Hong Kong in accordance with the law, demonstrating all the fine traditions of the PLA. The Garrison troops have won the trust and recognition of residents in Hong Kong as a result.
There is a vehicle company in the PLA Hong Kong Garrison, which keeps a safe driving record of over 11.3 million km with no accident or a single vehicle violation for the past 25 years.
"Our military vehicles running on the roads in Hong Kong are eye-catching. Hence we should pay more attention to soldier’s discipline and appearance of the vehicles, because what we present is the fine image of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison," said He Zhishuai, a truck driver of a vehicle company under the PLA Hong Kong Garrison.
Over the past 25 years, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has sincerely joined hands with Hong Kong people from all walks of life to build a better Hong Kong.
In 2018, Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong and blew down a large number of trees onto the trails in the country parks, which blocked traffic. The PLA Hong Kong Garrison sent more than 400 servicemembers to rush to the country parks to clean up the mountain roads. With the joint efforts of the Garrison troops and volunteers, the cleaning-up operation of an over-100-kilometer stretch of mountain roads, which was expected to be finished in three days, was successfully completed in just one day.
Voluntary tree planting, voluntary blood donation and the opening of military camps... Over the past 25 years, with the constant heart-warming interactions between the military and the local people, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison have conveyed positive energy to Hong Kong society, and as an army from and for the people, the troops of the Garrison have become more popular with the residents of Hong Kong.
Since 2009 and 2011 respectively, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has hosted annually the military summer camp for middle school students and the military life experience camp for college students in Hong Kong, with more than 5,800 Hong Kong students getting trained therein. In addition, the Garrison has taken the responsibility of holding national flag-raising ceremony training and carrying out national defense education activities for over a hundred local schools, to reinforce the Hong Kong young people’s sense of national identity and national pride.
In July 2021, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison Exhibition Center was inaugurated and open to the public at the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks. With the themed exhibition "Dreams of the East" telling about the history of the Communist Party of China, the history of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese PLA, as well as the development history of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison in the course of implementing the "one country, two systems" principle and maintaining long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,it has become a new cultural mark in Hong Kong. As of now, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison Exhibition Center has received more than 6,000 visitors, including those from HKSAR Government and social organizations, as well as teachers and students from primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong.