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LCQ9: Military sites

     Following is a question by Dr Hon Kenneth Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, in the Legislative Council today (October 29):


     According to the 1994 Exchange of Notes between the Chinese Government and the British Government on the arrangements for the future use of the military sites in Hong Kong, there are at present 19 military sites set aside in Hong Kong for use by the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison (HK Garrison) for defence purposes after the reunification. Earlier on, some media discovered that a new radar station and related facilities (the radar station facilities) had been established at the hilltop of Tai Mo Shan for use by the HK Garrison, but the land on which such facilities are located (the radar station site) is not included in the aforesaid military sites. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the details of the entire process through which the radar station site was granted by the government departments concerned, including the procedures for granting the site, the date on and the justifications for which the HK Garrison made the request, the studies and consultation exercises conducted by such departments during the vetting and approval process, as well as the date on and the justifications for which they decided to grant the site;

(2) whether the government departments concerned had sought legal advice from the Department of Justice on the related legal issues before granting the radar station site; if they had, of the details of the legal advice obtained; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it knows the specific uses of the radar station facilities and whether such facilities include certain equipment capable of monitoring the situation and people's activities in Hong Kong; if it knows, of the details?



     A consolidated reply of the Administration to the various parts of the question is as follows:

     The People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison (the Hong Kong Garrison) has a total of 19 military sites in Hong Kong, of which six are located on Hong Kong Island (namely the Central Barracks and Military Dock, Chek Chue Barracks, Headquarters House, Ching Yi To Barracks and Western Barracks), four in Kowloon (namely the Gun Club Hill Barracks, Kowloon East Barracks, Cornwall Street and Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks) and nine in the New Territories (namely Shek Kong Barracks, Shek Kong Village, San Tin Barracks, Tam Mei Barracks, San Wai Barracks, San Wai/Tai Ling Firing Range, Tsing Shan Firing Range, Tai O Barracks and the Military Transportation Centre at Chek Lap Kok). These sites were established in accordance with the Exchange of Notes between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the United Kingdom in 1994 on the arrangements for the future use of the military sites in Hong Kong. The relevant area on Tai Mo Shan hilltop is not one of these military sites. It has all along been Government land used for setting up various communication installations.

     Article 14 of the Basic Law provides that the Central People's Government shall be responsible for the defence of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Garrisoning of the HKSAR (the Garrison Law), the defence functions and responsibilities of the Hong Kong Garrison include preparing against and resisting aggression and safeguarding the security of the HKSAR, carrying out defence duties, controlling military facilities and handling foreign-related military affairs. The Government has the responsibility of supporting the Hong Kong Garrison in its performance of defence functions and responsibilities.

     Since the Reunification, the Hong Kong Garrison has been performing defence functions and responsibilities in Hong Kong in strict accordance with the Basic Law and the Garrison Law. Details of the defence operations are military secret and cannot be disclosed.

Ends/Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:35


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