Chinese Major General Peng Jingtang, current deputy chief of staff of China’s People’s Armed Police and former Chief of Staff of the Xinjiang Armed Police Corps, has been appointed by President Xi Jinping to lead the People Liberation Army’s (PLA) garrison in HongKong. Peng has previously overseen counterterrorism and mass surveillance operations throughout Xinjiang, where human rights organizations and western nations accuse China of committing human rights abuses against Uyghur ethnic minorities. Pro-democracy leaders in Hong Kong fear that his presence may include a greater crackdown on their activities and greater enforcement of the National Security Law.
The Xinjiang internment camps, officially called vocational education and training centers by the government of China, are internment camps operated by the government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and its Chinese Communist Party (CCP) provincial committee. Human Rights Watch says that they have been used to indoctrinate Uyghurs and other Muslims since 2017 as part of a “people’s war on terror”, a policy announced in 2014. The camps have been criticized for alleged human rights abuses, including mistreatment, rape, and torture, by the governments of many countries and human rights organizations, with some of them alleging genocide.