BEIJING – China’s military has rotated a new batch of troops into Hong Kong describing the move as routine, state media said Thursday, as protests against Beijing continue to rock the Asian financial hub.

Asian and Western diplomats in Hong Kong watching the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) movements had been expecting a routine rotation about this time and will be looking closely for any sign of increased numbers or unusual activity.

Hong Kong has been engulfed in angry and sometimes violent protests against the government for three months, sparked by a now-suspended extradition bill and concerns that Beijing was trying to bring the territory under greater mainland control.

The protests are the greatest political threat to Hong Kong’s government since the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997, and one of the biggest popular challenges to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.