Elite Chinese Paramilitary Officer Assigned to Hong Kong | National Review

Elite Chinese Paramilitary Officer Assigned to Hong Kong | National Review

A Chinese security official who played a leading role in Beijing’s crackdown in Xinjiang is heading to Hong Kong, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Major General Peng Jingtang, a deputy chief of staff of China’s People’s Armed Police, will head the People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported late Sunday. He was previously chief of staff for the armed police in the far western region of Xinjiang, site of a yearslong crackdown on predominantly Muslim and Turkic-speaking Uyghurs and other minorities.

There Mr. Peng was tasked with counterterrorism, helping train an elite squad known as the Mountain Eagles. In 2019, he told the state-run Global Times newspaper that the squad fired as many rounds of ammunition in 2018 as all other Xinjiang security forces combined had done over the previous three years. Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping honored an unspecified antiterrorism squad in Xinjiang that officials said killed 91 terrorists.

This latest leadership shuffle follows a move over the Christmas holiday, in which Chen Quanguo, the Chinese Communist Party boss in Xinjiang, stepped down. Chen, who is expected to receive a promotion, is regarded as a ruthless administrator who over the past five years constructed the police state that exists in the region today and carried out Beijing’s brutal “strike hard” campaign against Uyghurs and other minorities.

Experts have previously warned that the Chinese Communist Party’s playbook in Xinjiang would be used elsewhere, including in Hong Kong and Tibet. This latest leadership shuffle indicates that more of what might be called the “Xinjiang model” could take root in Hong Kong.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.