The images, published by The Associated Press, show more than 100 vehicles, which appear to be large trucks, gathered in the soccer stadium at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. The pictures were taken on Monday, the AP said.
The images come 24 hours after the Global Times, China’s state-run tabloid newspaper, published a compilation of footage showing the military trucks assembling in Shenzhen “in advance of apparent large-scale exercises.”
The Global Times also noted in its report that 12,000 police officers, tanks, helicopters, and amphibious vehicles gathered in Shenzhen on August 6 for what appeared to be anti-riot drills.
Adam Ni, a researcher on Chinese foreign and security policy at the Australian National University, said on Twitter that the military display was a brazen warning to Hong Kong of China’s combat readiness.
Hong Kongers have been protesting for over two months in a series of demonstrations which began as a movement against a proposed bill that would have allowed the extradition of people from Hong Kong to mainland China.
Many in Hong Kong thought the bill was a breach of the “one country, two systems” agreement forged when Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997.
The protests have since morphed into a series of demonstrations against what many see as the infringement of democracy in Hong Kong, and against police brutality seen during the protests.