Officers who carry out Hong Kong’s daily flag-raising and lowering ceremonies started adding Chinese-style foot drills into their routine this week, police have told HKFP.

The ceremonies take place daily at Golden Bauhinia Square outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. The former is held at 8 a.m. and the latter at 6 p.m.

The Golden Bauhinia in Hong Kong. File Photo: GovHK.

According to a police statement, officers started implementing the Chinese-style foot drills into the ceremonies on Monday.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison began conducting training for officers last February, and the Chinese-style drills were performed in public for the first time on National Security Education Day last April.

They were also on display at a flag-raising ceremony on July 1 last year – the 24th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.

Chinese-style foot drills “require a specific military ‘posture’ and synchronised movements with steady and sonorous steps,” according to Offbeat, a magazine published by the police force.

Force-wide implementation

The new form of marching at the daily ceremonies comes ahead of this year’s July 1 festivities, after which police will implement Chinese-style foot drills across the force. Police said in January that they would make the switch to replace the current style of marching, which has British characteristics rooted in the city’s colonial past.

Flag raising ceremony in celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR at Golden Bauhinia Square. File Photo: GovHK.

“Apart from ceremonial events and passing-out parades, officers of all levels will adopt the protocols of Chinese-style foot drill on a daily routine, such as saluting,” an article in Offbeat read.

An online learning course was launched by the Hong Kong Police College earlier on drill movement skills.

The announcement from the police comes just a year after then-police chief Chris Tang said the force had “no plans” to change their marching style.

Correction 20:00: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the “goose step” as opposed to the standard Chinese-style foot drill.

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Hillary Leung

Hillary has an interest in social issues and politics. Previously, she reported on Asia broadly - including on Hong Kong's 2019 protests - for TIME Magazine and covered local news at Coconuts Hong Kong.