Chinese soldiers on Saturday were seen on the streets in Hong Kong to help clear up road barricades that anti-government protesters erected to stop traffic movement.
Around 20 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were among those who were out in force to remove bricks and other objects strewn on several main roads in Hong Kong, Efe news reported.
Traffic movement started as a result of their actions but tension still hovered in the air as the protest movement entered its 24th consecutive week.
It was the first time the Chinese soldiers appeared in public in Hong Kong to carry out an operation since the anti-government protest movement erupted in June.
They made their appearance near Baptist University in Kowloon Tong Saturday afternoon without warning, and reportedly claimed that they made the move on their own volition.
Any move made by Chinese troops in the semiautonomous territory, which is run under a so-called “one country, two systems” principle, is a touchy matter.
Since the beginning of the protests, there have been speculations from time to time that Beijing might send in troops to Hong Kong to crack down on the movement, which was triggered by a now-withdrawn bill on extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China.