China shows off sea-power might at anniversary of Hong Kong's return

Following this weekend's historic visit of China's first aircraft carrier, Hong Kong is expected to play host to more frequent military displays as Beijing seeks new ways of forging nationalist sentiment across the free-wheeling financial hub.

While the troops of the People's Liberation Army stationed in barracks across the former British colony will remain a low-key presence, more robust public engagement and displays of China's growing military capabilities are likely, according to local officials, foreign envoys and analysts.

"The visit will help to stir the patriotism of Hong Kong comrades and help people to love the country and love Hong Kong more," Ding Yi, a vice admiral of the Chinese navy, told reporters after the Liaoning steamed into Hong Kong waters flanked by two Type 52 destroyers from its strike group.

The 8,000-strong Hong Kong garrison - split between bases in the city and across the mainland border in southern Guangdong - has already embarked on more intense training and live-fire drills in recent months, including helicopter exercises.

Read more at Reuters.

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