This Friday, a fleet of ships including the Liaoning, the PLA’s first aircraft carrier, will visit Hong Kong, and will remain in the city until next Tuesday.
Members of the public with tickets, of which 2,000 were distributed on Monday morning, will be able to tour the aircraft carrier this weekend. No cameras will be allowed on board. No arrangements have been made for local media coverage on board.
Other Chinese vessels, namely the destroyers Jinan and Yinchuan, and the frigate, Yantai, will also be in town. The three smaller vessels will also be open to visitors at Stonecutters’ Island naval base in Victoria Harbour this weekend.
Mainland military media revealed on Monday that the aircraft carrier strike group performed intensive drills as it sailed into the Taiwan Strait on its way to Hong Kong. Taiwan’s defence ministry said the Chinese ships sailed through the strait between Saturday afternoon and Sunday night.
More than 100 combat units took part in the drills, including J-15 fighter jets, which took off from the flight deck, carried out air manoeuvres and landed on the carrier.
Brian Ma De-yu, a South Island student, is very excited about the visit: “How long has it been since a Chinese vessel like this has come to Hong Kong?” Brian, 14, added he thought it’s a shame that the timing of the fleet sailing in will likely clash with people’s work schedules, but he thinks it will be a great opportunity for locals to see the mainland’s military might in person.