China appoints former paramilitary chief as new Hong Kong garrison commander

Written by on January 9, 2022

January 10, 2022

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China has appointed a former paramilitary chief, Peng Jingtang, as the new commander of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong, state broadcaster CCTV reported late on Sunday citing the PLA’s spokesman.

Peng, who holds the rank of major general, was previously the deputy chief of staff of China’s paramilitary police force, the People’s Armed Police. His appointment was signed into order by Chinese President Xi Jinping, CCTV said.

CCTV also quoted Peng as saying that he would in his new appointment work with all members of the garrison to follow the command of the ruling Communist Party and Xi, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and security interests.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the promise that wide-ranging individual rights would be protected.

But pro-democracy activists and rights groups say freedoms have been eroded, in particular since China imposed a new national security law after months of at times violent pro-democracy protests in 2019.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Michael Perry)

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