- Numbers signing up higher than last year, according to People's Liberation Army, as youth movement against extradition bill grips Hong Kong
- Young participants to go on drills and attend ethics seminars at military-style camp at the PLA's city garrison
Six hundred local young people have signed up for a People's Liberation Army summer camp at its Hong Kong garrison, despite ongoing discord between the city's youth and government over the hugely unpopular extradition bill.
The garrison's deputy political commissar Chen Yading said the camp, which runs military drills and ethics lessons at the San Wai Barracks in Fanling, would give young people a more objective view of the country and its army.
"In the past 14 years, about 3,000 Hong Kong pupils participated in this event, and became more mature and independent," said Chen, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the training programme on Monday.
The Post reported earlier that a plan to let Hongkongers enrol in the Chinese army was on hold, in light of the political crisis sparked by the extradition bill.
Chen did not take questions from media before leaving.
While the same ceremony was attended by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor last year, no government official made an appearance on Monday.
The camp is jointly organised by the garrison, the Hong Kong government and non-government organisation Concerted Efforts Resource Centre.
Last year the organiser offered 500 places, which is 100 fewer than this year's intake, and there was a quota of 260 in 2015, the year after Occupy Central.
Past reports said schools in Hong Kong can "recommend" students to join.
The garrison offers a five-day "trial camp" to Form One and Two pupils, while those in Form Three to Five were given the full 15-day camp.
Form Three pupil Ip Sum-yi, 15, said she enrolled in the full summer camp after taking the trial last year.
"I didn't have enough and wanted to experience more activities, so I enrolled again," Ip said.
Asked how Lam could reach out to local young people more effectively, Ip said: "I think the chief executive might have to meet students face to face, so students can express their demands."
China to conduct air and naval exercises close to Taiwan Strait
Another participant, Form Four pupil Nip Cheuk-yiu, 16, said he was considering joining the Hong Kong police.
The camp would help train his discipline, Nip said.
Asked about his views of the police's use of force in recent protests, Nip said: "I don't have any views, I am neutral and I don't really care about politics."
Hong Kong's PLA garrison held a drill last week on 'emergency dispatches'
According to a handbook for camp participants, pupils will be put under a 16-hour schedule each day starting at 6am.
Apart from military drills, such as marching and survival skills, attendees will also be given training in martial arts and ethics seminars.
Pupils are not allowed to bring mobile phones and other telecommunication equipment into the camp.
Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.查看原始文章