STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Chinese paramilitary members are gathered near Hong Kong border

Chair of Hong Kong Democratic Party's Foreign Affairs Committee, Emily Lau, tells Becky Anderson that if China makes a mistake, Hong Kong will have a lot to pay.

Posted: Aug 14, 2019 8:50 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2019 8:50 PM

As protests continue to sweep through Hong Kong, large numbers of China's paramilitary force are just miles away from Hong Kong's border with mainland China, according to a CNN team on the ground in Shenzhen.

CNN saw uniformed members of the People's Armed Police Force (PAP) with riot shields and batons at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center.

The PAP is the 1.5 million-member paramilitary force the government regularly deploys to quell protests within its borders. It is under the command of China's central military commission, headed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Their presence just across the bay from Hong Kong comes amid speculation that Chinese forces could enter Hong Kong and quash the protests, which are in their third month.

But there has been no indication that the PAP are set to do that, and such an intervention could have devastating effects on the territory's economy.

Satellite images of the sports center, located just across the harbor from Hong Kong, purport to show vehicles gathering at the center. On the ground Wednesday, CNN saw dozens of troop carriers and at least one armored personnel carrier.

A PAP officer told CNN the forces had just arrived for a temporary assignment, staying at the sports stadium where they were filmed by CNN. The officer did not explain why the troops were stationed there.

Propaganda

On Wednesday, a US official with direct knowledge of the latest assessment on Hong Kong told CNN that the US does not see forces 'streaming to the border' between China and Hong Kong.

But the official added that the situation could quickly change as the forces are mobile, noting that China does have the capability to put significant forces into Hong Kong "within several hours."

The official said the forces on the Shenzhen side are largely, if not all, PAP. In recent months, as the crisis has built up, the PAP has "increased readiness levels," as well as making public shows of forces with anti-riot training.

Earlier this week, Chinese state media circulated videos purporting to show an increased military presence in the city of Shenzhen.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that the US had seen Chinese troop buildups near the border, though it's unclear whether he was referring to the PAP.

Experts say such an incursion would have disastrous effects for Hong Kong: It could hurt Hong Kong's status as an Asian financial hub; lead to a mass exodus of people; trigger a stern international response; and ultimately mean a failure of the "one country, two systems" policy.

Given the city's close ties to mainland China, any intervention of force would risk ricocheting through the entire country at a time when the world's second biggest economy is already vulnerable because of the trade war with the United States.

Flashpoints

Hong Kong's protest movement started in early June in opposition to an extradition bill, which critics feared could be used to target dissidents for prosecution in mainland China. The bill has since been shelved, but the uproar stoked a wider civil unrest that shows no sign of ending.

Tuesday saw several flashpoints, as protesters overran airport security, using luggage carts to set up barricades in front of security checkpoints and blocking passengers from accessing their flights.

Chinese government authorities strongly condemned the protesters on Wednesday, describing their actions as having "broken the bottom line of the law, morality and humanity."

China has adopted a more strident tone in recent weeks, focusing on violence committed by a smaller faction of protestors and framing the movement as one of radical separatists being controlled by foreign "black hands."

But the protesters by and large are young, angry and leaderless. They complain that the government has continued to ignore their five demands, which include calls for universal suffrage and investigations into alleged police brutality and misconduct.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has repeatedly apologized for her government's botched handling of the extradition bill that initially sparked the protest, and has vowed to do a better job of listening. But she said the political issues will only be dealt with after law and order resumes.

Terre Haute
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 40°
Indianapolis
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 45°
Rockville
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Brazil
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
Another Cold Night
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

West Vigo Baseball

Image

ISU Baseball

Image

Sullivan Tennis

Image

SV Softball

Image

Local elementary students hold career fair - for the younger students

Image

Small businesses in Robinson begin to bounce back

Image

Consumer prices shot up 0.8% in April causing worry - here's what one local expert says is happening

Image

The bow-tie is back, what does that mean for this week's forecast?

Image

P.I.N.K. of the Wabash Valley picks up another donation

Image

Sullivan project

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1357843

Reported Deaths: 24617
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54365810080
DuPage902661277
Will75240989
Lake66984986
Kane58192769
Winnebago33017472
Madison30439518
McHenry28481285
St. Clair27802512
Peoria23019305
Champaign20563145
Sangamon18656234
McLean18086178
Tazewell16884282
Rock Island14913310
Kankakee14120209
Kendall1297393
LaSalle12488243
Macon10715198
DeKalb9838119
Vermilion9575132
Adams8421123
Williamson7404129
Whiteside7142171
Boone668072
Ogle608781
Grundy586675
Clinton575490
Coles567094
Knox5537142
Jackson500664
Henry493763
Livingston481285
Stephenson473882
Effingham472772
Woodford471876
Macoupin468681
Marion4467115
Franklin444374
Monroe435593
Jefferson4281120
Lee415352
Randolph412784
Fulton390355
Morgan388181
Logan385957
Montgomery370973
Bureau370582
Christian365073
Fayette316855
Perry316060
Iroquois299966
McDonough283047
Jersey268949
Douglas258335
Saline256554
Lawrence240425
Shelby229137
Union225740
Crawford211426
Bond204224
Cass198325
Jo Daviess180624
Warren179646
Clark179133
Pike178652
Ford177646
Wayne177052
Hancock175531
Carroll174936
Richland174440
Edgar169639
White169326
Washington163925
Moultrie160728
De Witt150524
Mason150145
Piatt148614
Clay148143
Mercer146433
Greene143633
Johnson143215
Wabash134512
Massac133640
Cumberland129119
Menard123112
Jasper115018
Marshall106418
Hamilton83115
Schuyler7435
Brown7036
Pulaski6887
Stark63423
Edwards56912
Henderson52514
Calhoun5182
Putnam4813
Scott4771
Alexander46711
Gallatin4584
Hardin38612
Pope3194
Out of IL20
Unassigned02356

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 730969

Reported Deaths: 13434
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1000031743
Lake53771970
Allen40668678
St. Joseph35733552
Hamilton35629408
Elkhart28577442
Tippecanoe22402219
Vanderburgh22310397
Porter18776308
Johnson17970379
Hendricks17244315
Clark12985191
Madison12673339
Vigo12449247
LaPorte11928211
Monroe11893170
Delaware10696186
Howard9924216
Kosciusko9410117
Hancock8284141
Bartholomew8070156
Warrick7784155
Floyd7669178
Grant7060174
Wayne7051199
Boone6700101
Morgan6576139
Dubois6156117
Marshall6050111
Dearborn581378
Cass5808105
Henry5720103
Noble561384
Jackson501773
Shelby491996
Lawrence4546120
Harrison435872
Gibson435492
DeKalb428485
Clinton427453
Montgomery424189
Whitley396139
Huntington391980
Steuben387857
Miami381866
Knox371990
Jasper366047
Putnam360760
Wabash354179
Adams341354
Ripley339770
Jefferson330981
White314354
Daviess297399
Wells291581
Decatur285492
Fayette280762
Greene278985
Posey271533
LaGrange266770
Scott266354
Clay260247
Randolph240781
Washington240732
Spencer232131
Jennings230149
Starke216654
Fountain212346
Sullivan211942
Owen200256
Fulton195440
Jay195130
Carroll189320
Orange183654
Perry183037
Rush173425
Vermillion169143
Franklin168135
Tipton162845
Parke146316
Blackford134932
Pike134334
Pulaski116845
Newton107834
Brown102141
Crawford99814
Benton98614
Martin89115
Warren82115
Switzerland7918
Union71010
Ohio56811
Unassigned0416