Peng Jingtang will take up the post in Hong Kong after a time as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the People’s Armed Police.
China has appointed former paramilitary chief Peng Jingtang as the new commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong, state broadcaster CCTV reported late Sunday, referring to the PLA 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 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, CCTV said.
CCTV also quoted Peng as saying that in his new appointment he would work with all members of the garrison to follow the orders of the ruling Communist Party and Xi, and would defend determined national sovereignty and security interests.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with Beijing promising to respect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the region – and unknown on the mainland – for at least 50 years.
Critics say China has failed to deliver on that promise, noting that freedoms have been eroded, especially since the introduction of the national security law in June 2020, following pro-democracy protests the previous year that sometimes turned violent.
Dozens of elected politicians and activists have been arrested since the law went into effect while others fled into exile. Beijing has also moved to review Hong Kong’s electoral system in a move it says is necessary to ensure that only “patriots” can hold office.