Hong Kong approves joint checkpoint plan for high-speed rail terminal

By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/15 15:39:56

The joint checkpoint plan for Hong Kong’s high-speed rail terminus would help Hong Kong people learn more about the mainland’s development which would benefit future relations between Hong Kong and the mainland, an expert said after the plan was approved by the Hong Kong legislature Thursday night.

The plan will take effect after the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) chief executive signs the law, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Under the arrangement, a port will be established at the railway station in West Kowloon of Hong Kong, which is part of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, where the mainland and the HKSAR will carry out exit and entry supervision, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Passengers from Hong Kong will be able to pass through exit and entry supervision, including immigration inspection, customs clearance, and inspection and quarantine measures at the West Kowloon terminus and take the high-speed train to 18 destinations in the mainland, the report said. 

Communication between people in Hong Kong and the mainland is important. The plan would “make it much easier for people in Hong Kong to reach  the mainland by train, which is expected to let them learn more about the real mainland,” Zhang Dinghuai, a professor at the Contemporary Chinese Politics Research Institute of Shenzhen University, told the Global Times on Friday.

The arrangement is intended to speed up the customs process, and it would be “irrational" for some Hongkongers to consider the plan a conspiracy, Zhang said. 

The plan was approved by a vote of 40 to 20 with one abstention, with some pan-democracy activists in Hong Kong considering it “unconstitutional” as Hong Kong is set to “give up its jurisdiction” across the terminus, and calling the move violating the One Country, Two Systems principle, local media reported. 

“The ‘one country’ is the basis while the ‘two systems’ makes the principle flexible depending on the Hong Kong people’s willingness,” Zhang said. 

As the country develops, Zhang noted, new modes and methods that comply with the public’s wish should be adopted. “The joint checkpoint plan can only bring benefits to the public, and is the will of the people in Hong Kong.”

Zhang also called for rational thinking among Hong Kong people and to avoid a conspiracy attitude.

Comprehensive tests of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link were conducted in April, and the section is scheduled to open within the year, Xinhua reported. 

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