HONG KONG—Under a gray drizzle, a Hong Kong law enforcement drill squad marched into the law enforcement academy parade ground on Thursday and confirmed off a newly obtained talent: Goose-stepping in the locked-knee marching design of the Chinese military, a departure from the bent-knee British-design extensive the norm in the former colony.
The drill squad was viewed by hundreds of supporters who gathered on bleachers to celebrate Countrywide Security Schooling Working day, marked with fanfare 10 months right after Beijing initiated a sweeping crackdown on dissent in the city.
With marketing billboards up across the city and activities held at educational institutions and other establishments, the activities sought to broaden support for a new protection regime in spot, which include a nationwide protection law that can make crimes this sort of as sedition and foreign collusion punishable with up to daily life in prison.
Thursday’s activities also emphasized that Hong Kong, returned to China in 1997 less than an accord meant to grant the city confined self-government, is now firmly less than Beijing’s command. Senior Chinese and area officers gave speeches warning of major repercussions for everyone who crosses China’s base line of nationwide protection. A lot of of the city’s most well known democracy activists are in jail or on demo.
The sight of Hong Kong law enforcement marching in mainland fashion shaped the most powerful image of Beijing’s affect, and turned the focal position of the day.