LCQ10: Use and management of military sites
At present, there are 19 military sites in the territory managed and used by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison (HK Garrison), 12 of which are called barracks. It has been reported that the HK Garrison opens at weekends the airfield in Shek Kong Barracks for non-military activities, such as private flight training and the taking off and landing of private light aircrafts. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the site area of each barracks, and whether it knows the number of military personnel stationed in each barracks; if it knows, set out the details by name of the barracks;
(2) whether it knows the non-military activities currently permitted by the HK Garrison to be carried out in the military sites, and the legal basis for giving such permission; if it knows, set out the details by name of military site; and
(3) whether it knows the total amount of revenue generated in the past three years from the non-military activities mentioned in (2), and the respective amounts of such revenue apportioned to the Government and the HK Garrison as well as the reasons for that?
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). Article 5 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Garrisoning of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the Garrison Law) provides that one of the defence functions and responsibilities of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison (the Hong Kong Garrison) is to control military facilities. Military sites are military facilities. The Central People's Government and the Hong Kong Garrison have sole responsibility for their use and management. Since the handover, 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. According to Article 10 of the Garrison Law, the HKSAR Government shall support the Hong Kong Garrison in its performance of defence functions and responsibilities and guarantee the lawful rights and interests of the Hong Kong Garrison and its members.
The various parts of the question are replied as follow:
(1) There are a total of 19 military sites in the HKSAR, of which six are located on Hong Kong Island (including the Central Barracks and Central Military Dock, Chek Chue Barracks, Headquarters House, Ching Yi To Barracks and Western Barracks), four in Kowloon (including the Gun Club Hill Barracks, Kowloon East Barracks, Cornwall Street and Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks) and nine in the New Territories (including 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). They occupy a total area of about 2 700 hectares. 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 Defence Land Agreement) for use and management by the Hong Kong Garrison. Details of military sites are military secret and cannot be disclosed.
(2) Annex I and the appended plans of the Defence Land Agreement show the major non-military interests in military sites, including rights of way, reserves, permitted burial areas, government installations and registered sites of special scientific interest, etc. These non-military interests have been recognised and protected by the Hong Kong Garrison since the handover. The Hong Kong Garrison has also allowed those organisations which were permitted to use parts of military sites before the handover to continue with their applications on using the venues for conducting activities without affecting defence operations.
(3) Based on the HKSAR Government's understanding, the Hong Kong Garrison has never charged any fee for protecting the major non-military interests in military sites nor for lending out parts of military sites.
Ends/Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Issued at HKT 12:30
Issued at HKT 12:30