© BloombergMembers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) march with a Chinese flag during a flag raising ceremony at an open day at the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, June 30, 2019. China's army is holding its annual open house in Hong Kong this weekend, even as historic protests challenge the city's Beijing-backed government.
(Bloomberg) -- China's People's Liberation Army trained Hong Kong police cadets on a style of marching that's used in the mainland for ceremonies, paving the way for the city to take another symbolic step toward shedding its British colonial past.
China's PLA garrison in Hong Kong recently conducted the training to help enhance the local police force's knowledge and skills for ceremonial activities," the Hong Kong police said in an email reply, confirming an earlier South China Morning Post report.
Asked to comment on the likelihood that the local police will perform a Chinese-style marching parade in next year's 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China celebrations - as the SCMP reported - the police said it has no current plans to adjust the use of its British style of marches during training and ceremonial activities.
China employs the so-called "goose step" style of marching whereby soldiers conduct foot drills without bending their knees.
A change would mark the latest in a string of signs pointing to Beijing's increasing influence on the city. Beijing fast-tracked a controversial national security law in Hong Kong last year to clamp down on pro-democracy protests that had been paralyzing the city.
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