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Hong Kong

Volume 164: debated on Thursday 11 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Chief Police Officer in Hong Kong sought permission from the Governor and Ministers of Her Majesty's Government in advance of using force and tear gas on Vietnamese on Lantau island, in the Crown Territories of Hong Kong after Christmas.

The operation was carried out only after protracted efforts by the Hong Kong Government and UNHCR and voluntary agency staff to persuade the boat people to allow the camp to be searched for weapons. When it was clear that the boat people would not co-operate, those in charge of the operation were authorised to use the minimum force necessary to ensure its success. Over 700 home-made weapons were subsequently found.