Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok says PLA troop movements in Hong Kong are deliberate posturing and an attempt to warn people. Kwok made the comments after eyewitness accounts, and videos on social media, showed People’s Liberation Army trucks and troops on the move overnight.

“I don’t believe that, given the sensitive timing that we have right now, that this is anything routine,” he said. “I believe it’s a deliberate posture on the part of the PLA to tell, or warn, the Hong Kong people that they may be deployed.”

At 4am on Thursday, the Xinhua News Agency put out a report calling the movements routine and saying the Hong Kong garrison had begun its 22nd troop rotation since 1997. But they come amid almost three months of anti-government protests.

Speaking on RTHK’s Hong Kong Today programme, Kwok said the use of troops would be the end of Hong Kong and he would warn the central government against any such move.