For discussion on
10 June 1997
LegCo Panel on Security
Transfer of Defence Responsibility
1. This paper updates the Panel on matters relating to the transfer of defence responsibilities.
PLA Advance Personnel
2. The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group reached an agreement on the phased arrival of 196 advance personnel of the future garrison in three batches before the handover. They are to make practical preparations for the PLA to take over the responsibility for the defence of Hong Kong.
3. The first batch of 40 PLA advance personnel led by Major General Zhou Borong arrived Hong Kong on 21 April. Further batches of 66 and 90 arrived on 19 May and 30 May respectively. They are stationing at the Prince of Wales Barracks, Stonecutters Island Barracks, Sek Kong Camp, Gun Club Hill Barracks, Gallipoli Lines, Cassino Lines, Stanley Fort and Osborn Barracks.
4. The responsibilities of the PLA advance personnel include familiarization with the military sites, liaison with the British Forces and the Hong Kong Government, and co-ordination of communications support. The advance personnel are not armed and will not enjoy any special legal status or JLG privileges and immunities. They have to strictly abide by all Hong Kong laws.
5. At the last meeting held on 14 April, Members requested a list of issues that the Administration is seeking to clarify with Chinese legal experts on the implementation of the Garrison Law. These include:
- the mechanism to apply the Garrison Law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Article 18 of the Basic Law;
- its relationship with other laws in Hong Kong;
- the procedure to be adopted to settle civil claims brought against the PLA Garrison;
- the ways the Supreme Peoples Court will apply HKSAR law in determining damages in adjudicating a civil case involving the PLA Garrison; and
- the arrangements for HKSAR law enforcement officers to handle traffic accidents involving military vehicles and to take action against crimes committed by PLA personnel whilst on duty.
6. The new naval base at Stonecutters Island, the military Hospital at Gun Club Barracks, the storage depot at Sek Kong, and the goods handling unit at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok have been substantially completed and will be handed over to the PLA Garrison as from 1 July 1997.
Last Updated on 21 August 1998