Criticism of Hong Kong, mainland rail link groundless: expert

By Leng Shumei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/19 23:13:39

Criticism of HK, mainland rail link groundless: expert

Politicizing the management of passenger handling at the West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) is not in the interest of Hong Kong's people nor its economic development, an expert said Sunday.

On Saturday, the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) signed a cooperation arrangement on jointly implementing clearance procedures for travel between the XRL, the Xinhua News Agency reported, calling it a co-location arrangement.

The agreement will allow for the relevant tasks of the co-location arrangement to move forward and allow people traveling between the mainland and Hong Kong to finish all clearance procedures and quarantine measure on the same floor of the station.

"The cooperation agreement is in conformity with the Basic Law as well as the central government's willingness not to change the current situation in  Hong Kong," Yin Hongbiao, a Peking University professor, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Yin pointed out that doubts voiced by Hong Kong's "pan-democratic" groups, and their political and legal hype lack broad foundation and are against the will and interests of most people.

"The arrangement will benefit both the mainland and Hong Kong. The city's opposition group's attempt to politicize the issue is not in the interest of the local development," he added.

Provincial governor of South China's Guangdong Province Ma Xingrui and HKSAR Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor signed the cooperation agreement in Hong Kong at noon Saturday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"As a cross-boundary high-speed rail line, efficiency and time-saving clearance procedures are absolutely essential to realizing the full potential of the XRL in terms of speed and convenience," Lam was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

According to the agreement, the two sides will, in accordance with their respective laws, exercise exit and entry regulations, including customs regulation and inspection and quarantine measures on departing and arriving travelers between the mainland and HKSAR, Xinhua reported.

Officials dispatched to the West Kowloon Station from the mainland's inspection organizations will only be able to enforce laws within the mainland port area, according to a report from the People's Daily.

Newspaper headline: Criticism of HK, mainland rail link groundless: expert


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