People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison

Coordinates: 22°16′54″N 114°09′51″E / 22.2817325°N 114.1641229°E / 22.2817325; 114.1641229

People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison
PLA Hong Kong Garrison arm badge
Founded 1 July 1997
Service branches  People's Liberation Army Ground Force
 People's Liberation Army Navy
 People's Liberation Army Air Force
Headquarters Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building
Political Commissar[1] Maj Gen Cai Yongzhong[2]
Commander Lt Gen Tan Benhong
Active personnel 6,000
People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison
Traditional Chinese 中國人民解放軍駐香港部隊
Simplified Chinese 中国人民解放军驻香港部队

The People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison is a garrison of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), responsible for defense duties in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since the sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred to the PRC in 1997. Prior to the handover, Hong Kong was under British rule, and the defense of Hong Kong was the responsibility of the British Forces Overseas Hong Kong, with auxiliary help from the Royal Hong Kong Regiment.

As a non-sovereign territory, Hong Kong has never had a military force of its own. The garrison is headquartered in Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building in Central, Hong Kong. The troop strength of the Hong Kong garrison is about 6,000 personnel.

Role in Hong Kong

The Central People's Government (CPG) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) assumed sovereignty over Hong Kong on 1 July 1997 and stationed a garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Hong Kong to manage its defense affairs. While the garrison has been considered primarily symbolic of Beijing's governance of Hong Kong, it is nevertheless a combat-ready force.[3]

The Basic Law provides that the CPG shall be responsible for the defense of Hong Kong and shall bear the expenditure for the garrison, whereas the colonial Hong Kong Government before 1997 had to pay for the military. The Garrison Law, subsequently enacted by the National People's Congress, contains specific provisions on the duties and rules of discipline of the garrison personnel, jurisdiction and other questions, to facilitate the Hong Kong Garrison in fulfilling its defense functions along legal lines. Military forces stationed in Hong Kong shall not interfere in the local affairs and the Hong Kong government shall be responsible for the maintenance of public order. The Garrison formally stationed in Hong Kong assumed defense responsibility for Hong Kong starting midnight on 1 July 1997.

The Hong Kong Garrison includes elements of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force, PLA Navy, and PLA Air Force; these forces are under the direct leadership of the Central Military Commission in Beijing and under the administrative control of the adjacent Southern Theater Command.

While performing its defense duties, the Hong Kong Garrison must abide by both national and Hong Kong laws, as well as the current rules and regulations of the PLA. After its entry into Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Garrison abide by the Basic Law and the Garrison Law, actively organizing military training. According to the Garrison Law, the Garrison established working contacts with the Hong Kong Government, and opened the barracks on Stonecutters Island and Stanley to the public to promote Hong Kong people's understanding of and trust in the garrison forces and their personnel. Annual open house events are held to showcase the assets and combat readiness of the garrison personnel.


Personnel in the Hong Kong Garrison wore uniforms different from their mainland counterparts until a new set of uniforms were introduced in 2007. Motor vehicles in the military are right-hand drive, like civilian vehicles in Hong Kong, and carry number plates that start with ZG, standing for zgǎng (驻港/駐港), Mandarin for "[stationed] in Hong Kong."


The Hong Kong Garrison reports to both the Southern Theater Command and Central Military Commission in Beijing, and informs Hong Kong Government of any actions within or around Hong Kong.

Garrison Commanders

  1. Lt. General Liu Zhenwu 1997–1999 (appointed 1994)
  2. Lt. General Xiong Ziren 1999–2004
  3. Lt. General Wang Jitang 2004–2008
  4. Lt. General Zhang Shibo 2008–2012
  5. Lt. General Wang Xiaojun 2012–2014
  6. Lt. General Tan Benhong 2014–present

Political Commissars

  1. Maj. General Xiong Ziren
  2. Maj. General Wang Yufa
  3. Maj. General Liu Liangkai
  4. Lt. General Zhang Rucheng
  5. Lt. General Liu Liangkai, second term
  6. Lt. General Wang Zengbo
  7. Lt. General Yue Shixin



Formerly the 1st Red Regiment of 1st Red Division, 1st Red Army. In 1949, the regiment comprised the 424th Regiment, 142nd Division, 48th Army. In 1952, the 142nd Division was assigned to 55th Army and the 424th Regiment renamed the 430th Regiment. In 1970, the 144th Division was renamed as the 163rd Division and 430th Regiment renamed as 487th Regiment.
  • 3 infantry battalions (Air Assault/Heliborne)
  • 1 mechanized infantry battalion
  • 1 artillery battery
  • 1 engineer battalion
  • 1 reconnaissance/special ops company (named 5-min Response Unit, some of them later transferred to the Macau Garrison to form the a new Quick Reaction Platoon there)
  • 1 intelligence gathering battalion
  • 1 Armour Convoy
  • 1 Logistics Base, Shenzhou. (Unit 53310)
  • 1 Motor Transport Company, Shao Fei


Bases within Hong Kong are former British facilities namely from the British Army:


Type 926 wheeled armored personnel carrier211980sNorinco, ChinaWith 12.7mm machine gun
Type 56C5.8 mm assault rifleN/AN/ANorinco, China
Type 885.8 mm sniper rifleN/AN/ANorinco, China
QBZ-955.8 mm automatic assault rifleN/AN/ANorinco, China
QBZ-035.8 mm automatic assault rifleN/AN/ANorinco, China
QCW-05submachine gunN/AN/ANorinco, China
Type 87 grenade launchergrenade launcherN/AN/ANorinco, China
Type 95 Squad Machine GunLight machine gunN/AN/ANorinco, China
Type 92 pistolpistolN/AN/ANorinco, China
Jiefang CA-30utility truckN/AN/AFirst Automobile Works, Changchun, China
EQ2050AHumveeN/A2010Chinese copy of HMMWV
JH600 DukemotorcycleN/AN/AJialingCopy of BMW F650*
  • Although cosmetically similar to the BMW single cylinder F650 and G650 models, in all important aspects (motor, sub-frame, suspension, controls) the JH600 is a unique design.

The naval presence in Hong Kong is a limited sub-station with a small flotilla of ships rotating from bases in the mainland:




Class or name Builder Type Quantity Year Entered ServiceDetails
Jiangdao ClassHuangpu Shipyard, Guangzhou, ChinaCorvette220132 × 2 C-803 Anti-ship missile, 1 x HQ-10 8-round SAM launcher, 1 x H/PJ-26 76 mm main gun, 2 x H/PJ-17 30 mm RWS and 2 x triple torpedo tubes.
Houjian ClassHuangpu Shipyard, Guangzhou, ChinaMissile boat61990s5 C-801 Anti-ship missile, 1 Twin 37 mm Anti-Aircraft Gun and 2 twin 30 mm Cannons.
Type 074 Yuhai (Wuhu-A) ClassWuhu Shipyard of Wuhu, Anhui, ChinaMedium Landing Ship21995–20002 25 mm Guns.

Air Force



PLA Hong Kong Garrison has three air bases with only one within Hong Kong:

Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Country of Manufacture Type In Service Notes
Harbin Z-9 China utility helicopter 12 – at Sek Kong Airfield upgraded variant of AS 565 Panther and SA 360 Dauphin 2
Changhe Z-8KH China search and rescue helicopter 4 – at Sek Kong Airfield

See also


  1. "Information Note: The Hong Kong Garrison of the Ch inese People's Liberation Army" (PDF). para 2.6: Legislative Council Secretariat, Hong Kong. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  2. "Chinese army promotes new political commissar at Hong Kong garrison". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  3. Gan, Nectar; Cheung, Tony (June 17, 2017). "Hong Kong's PLA garrison no longer just symbolic, top brass say". South China Morning Post.
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