China hides tanks at football stadium near Hong Kong border amid fears of a Tiananmen-style massacre

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IMAGES showing the Chinese military hiding tanks at a football stadium near the Hong Kong border have sparked fears of another Tiananmen Square-style massacre.

The aerial images illustrate the military’s stark warning that they could meet protesters “in 10 minutes” if the unrest continues.

This aerial photo shows the Chinese military inside the Chunjian stadium in Shenzhen
This aerial photo shows the Chinese military inside the Chunjian stadium in Shenzhen
EPA
China's military issued a stark warning to protestors saying they could meet them'in 10 minutes'
China’s military issued a stark warning to protestors saying they could meet them ‘in 10 minutes’
AFP or licensors
Chinese soldiers practice on the grounds of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center
Chinese soldiers practice on the grounds of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center
REUTERS

Dozens of military vehicles can be seen inside the Chunjian stadium in Shenzhen, which is 35 miles from the Hong Kong border.

Hundreds of members of the People’s Armed Police (PAP) were seen at the stadium in the car park that was filled with more than 100 dark-painted paramilitary vehicles.

The Chinese government has likened the mass demonstrations as “near terrorism” as ugly and chaotic scenes broke out at the airport this week.

Flights resumed today after ongoing protests have shut the airport for several days as nearly 1,000 flights were cancelled this week.

Today’s move has prompted international concern the tanks will be used to break up protests across the border – similar to the Tiananmen Square massacre where thousands were believed to be killed.

National Security Advisor John Bolton reminded China yesterday about how Americans remember the massacre in 1989.

What is the Tiananmen Square Massacre?

Around one million people gathered in the square in Beijing during student-led demonstrations in June 1989.

Tanks began moving into position late on June 3 and troops opened fire, killing and injuring many unarmed people in and around the square.

It is unclear how many people were killed in 1989, but it is generally estimated thousands died and as many as 10,000 were arrested for their part in the demonstrations, with several dozen executed.

The rally attracted 1.2 million people but the Chinese government was determined to stay in power.

The Chinese government has made little to mention of that day and in the rare occasions it is mentioned, they defend it as a just act.

Seventeen people were arrested on yesterday, bringing the total number detained since June to 748, police said during a news conference.

They added police stations have been surrounded and attacked 76 times during the crisis.

Police have also been accused of escalating their tactics after a woman was shot in the eye by police during demonstrations.

Video footage of the demonstrations over the weekend showed plainclothes officers, who appeared to be disguised as protesters, making arrests as authorities face accusations of using excessive force and throwing teargas indoors.

In one clip, a man is on the ground as an officer wearing jeans has his knee on the protester’s neck as a pool of blood from his forehead pools on the concrete.

In another video, heavily-armoured police are seen shooting a pepperball at a protesters, knocking him down.

Chinese military personnel gather at the Shenzhen Bay stadium in Shenzhen
Chinese military personnel gather at the Shenzhen Bay stadium in Shenzhen
AFP or licensors
Trucks and armoured personnel carriers are seen outside the stadium, bordering Hong Kong in China's southern Guangdong province
Trucks and armoured personnel carriers are seen outside the stadium, bordering Hong Kong in China’s southern Guangdong province
AFP or licensors
A member of People's Armed Police Force (PAP) walks by military vehicles
A member of People’s Armed Police Force (PAP) walks by military vehicles
EPA
People's Armed Police Force (PAP) vehicles are seen gathered on the Shenzhen Bay
People’s Armed Police Force (PAP) vehicles are seen gathered on the Shenzhen Bay
EPA
China has deployed large numbers of paramilitary personnel just across the harbour from Hong Kong
China has deployed large numbers of paramilitary personnel just across the harbour from Hong Kong
EPA

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‘IT WOULD BE A BIG MISTAKE’

He said in a Voice of America interview: “The Chinese have to look very carefully at the steps they take, because people in America remember Tiananmen Square.”

“They remember the picture of the man standing in front of the line of tanks.

“They remember the statue of Lady Liberty. They remember voices of the Chinese people asking for freedom and democracy. And they remember the repression of the Chinese government in 1989.

“It would be a big mistake to create a new memory like that in Hong Kong.”

The US president urged for Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the unrest “humanely” and appeared to offer to meet to.

Donald Trump tweeted: “I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi (Jinping) wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”

France has called on Hong Kong officials to renew talks with protesters, while Canada said China should handle the protests with tact.

It would be a big mistake to create a new memory like that in Hong Kong.


National Security Advisor John Bolton

Protests have gripped the region since June 2019, sparked by highly controversial legislation to detain and extradite people who are wanted in countries or territories Hong Kong does not have agreements with – which includes mainland China and Taiwan.

That bill has been shelved for now – but the protests have mushroomed into a broader backlash against the government amid fears of the growing control of China’s Communist party.

Protesters also believe their leader should be elected in a more democratic way that reflects the preference of the voters.

The chief executive, Carrie Lam, is currently elected by a 1,200-member election committee – a mostly pro-Beijing body chosen by just six per cent of eligible voters.

Activists say they won’t stop until their main demands are met.

These include the resignation of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, an amnesty for those arrested and a permanent withdrawal of the bill.


Man-Kei Tam, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, said: “Clashes between protesters and police over the weekend escalated to another level especially on the police side.”

Hong Kong, a former British colony in south eastern China, has long enjoyed a special status under the principal “one country, two systems”.

The Basic Law dictates that Hong Kong will retain its common law and capitalist system for 50 years after the handover in 1997.

What is happening in Hong Kong and why?

Protests have gripped Hong Kong since June 2019, sparked by highly controversial legislation.

If passed, the bill would give loca authorities the right to detain and extradite people who are wanted in countries or territories Hong Kong does not have agreements with – which includes mainland China and Taiwan.

That bill has been shelved for now – but the protests have evolved against the government amid fears of the growing control of China’s Communist party.

Protesters also believe their leader should be elected in a more democratic way that reflects the preference of the voters.

The chief executive, Carrie Lam, is currently elected by a 1,200-member election committee – a mostly pro-Beijing body chosen by just six per cent of eligible voters.

The protesters demands are the resignation of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, an amnesty for those arrested and a permanent withdrawal of the bill.

Hong Kong, a former British colony in south eastern China, has long enjoyed a special status under the principal “one country, two systems”.

The Basic Law dictates it will retain its common law and capitalist system for 50 years after the handover in 1997.

Members of PAP exit through garage underground entrance of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center
Members of PAP exit through garage underground entrance of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center
EPA
Chinese soldiers walk in formation on the grounds of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center
Chinese soldiers walk in formation on the grounds of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center
REUTERS
The Chinese government has likened the protests to'near terrorism'
The Chinese government has likened the protests to ‘near terrorism’
AFP or licensors
Hundreds of military vehicles could be seen parked near the border of Hong Kong
Hundreds of military vehicles could be seen parked near the border of Hong Kong
AFP or licensors
The picture of Tank Man has come to symbolise the spirit of the protesters
AP:Associated Press

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