Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspects Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, south China, June 30, 2017, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
HONG KONG, June 30 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping on Friday inspected the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), ordering the troops to "firmly safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity and stability."
Xi, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reviewed the troops at Shek Kong barracks in the company of Tan Benhong, commander of the PLA Garrison in the HKSAR.
Riding in an open-top camouflage jeep, Xi repeated praises of "Salute to you, comrades!" and "Comrades, thanks for your hard work!" as he rode by each of the 20 troop formations.
The troops responded in unison; "Hail to you, Chairman!" "Serve the people!"
Altogether, over 3,100 officers and soldiers took part in Friday's review.
More than 100 pieces of military equipment, including air defense missiles, wheeled armored vehicles and military helicopters, were arrayed behind the troops.
About 4,000 flag-waving spectators from all walks of life in Hong Kong were also present during the review. ( Xi ordered the troops to firmly implement the principle of "one country, two systems," the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the HKSAR Garrison Law of the People's Republic of China.
The troops must resolutely protect national sovereignty, security and development interests, and firmly safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, he said.
After the review, Xi was briefed on the work of the PLA Garrison in the HKSAR.
"The garrison is an important embodiment of national sovereignty, an important force to safeguard 'one country, two systems,' and an important cornerstone of Hong Kong's prosperity and stability," Xi said.
Xi ordered the troops to improve the awareness of political integrity, state power and the overall situation, and firm up the responsibility for and commitment to safeguarding "one country, two systems."
He urged the garrison to make efforts to enhance "combat readiness" so as to fulfill its role as a powerful stabilizing force.
Xi spoke highly of the garrison, saying it has steadfastly carried out decisions and instructions of the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, and conscientiously implemented the principle of "one country, two systems," the Basic Law and the Garrison Law over the past 20 years.
"The garrison has done an excellent job in fulfilling all defense-centered tasks, demonstrating the PLA's image as a mighty and civilized force and winning wide praise from Hong Kong compatriots," he said.
Xi called for efforts to build a highly centralized and unified military force, and run the military in accordance with law to forge a strong force with ironclad belief, faith, discipline and responsibility.
Xi's inspection at Shek Kong barracks came on the second day of his three-day trip in Hong Kong. He will also attend celebrations marking Hong Kong's 20th return anniversary and the inauguration of the HKSAR's fifth-term government.