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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:42 AM   #241
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
In 40 years, they will be one country anyway
Well, at this point all the key cross-border projects require individual environmental assessments, alignment consideration, and funding on both sides of the border.

However, that doesn't stop mainland banks from participating in the funding, although they won't likely do it at a below market rate.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #242
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New front opens in fight against hi-speed rail link
The Standard
Monday, January 04, 2010

Dozens of protesters marched from Tai Kok Tsui to Mong Kok yesterday to call on functional constituency legislators to derail the HK$67 billion high speed railway connecting Hong Kong to Guangzhou.

The demonstrators said lawmakers should put peoples' interests ahead of their narrow electoral base, saying the railway would cause unbearable noise pollution to residents in some districts and could cause a number of old buildings with poor foundations to collapse.

The Legislative Council's finance committee is due to vote on funding for the link on Friday, the pan-democrats having frustrated a previous attempt on December 18 with delay tactics.

Yesterday, Tai Kok Tsui and Choi Yuen Chuen residents marched from a park in Tai Kok Tsui to Mong Kok through Fuk Tsun Street and Mong Kok Road, areas they say will be affected by the Hong Kong section of the link.

Their opposition comes on the back of angry protests from New Territories villagers who claim the link will destroy their way of life. Spokeswoman for the protesters, Kwong Wei-fong, said some of the roads in Tai Kok Tsui would sink and at least 14 buildings along Fuk Tsun Street could collapse once the railway starts operating.

"The 14 buildings have no foundation as they are very old. When a fast train passes, the buildings might not be able to stand the vibrations," she said.

The Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will connect West Kowloon to the Shibi Station at Guangzhou, passing through Futian and Longhua in Shenzhen.

It will slash travel time from 100 to 50 minutes, according to the Highways Department.

The rail will also pass through Lok Ma Chau and Choi Yuen Chuen in Yuen Long.

A Kwai Chung resident, surnamed Lau, said he joined the protest as he feared the noise during the railway's construction might affect him.

"The noise is expected to last three to fours years. It will be unbearable," he said.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 06:01 AM   #243
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All the listed excuses are so lame. During every construction, if someone is against it for any reason they say "they are buildings that may collapse and the noise will be too much bla bla blaaaaaaaaaa...."
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Old January 6th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #244
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If the HSR is soooo important, then why doesn't it link to Macau?

Why not include high speed rail with the Macau Zhuhai - Hong Kong bridge?

The rail is being built because the banks, construction companies and land owners want to make money out of govt projects. The banks are salivating at the interests that they are going to get from the $66.9 billion construction cost, which will give them more than $2.4 billion in interest alone per year, 100% guaranteed with 0% risk.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 05:01 PM   #245
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Tug-of-war over express rail link gathers steam
The Standard
Thursday, January 07, 2010

Pan-democrats and pro-establishment lawmakers are engaged in a heated tug-of-war over the funding of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, due for voting at tomorrow's finance committee meeting.

The pan-democrats said yesterday the local expert group, Professional Commons, should be given a chance to explain their proposal tomorrow.

The finance committee will hold a special meeting today to decide whether Professional Commons can be given that opportunity.

The committee had failed to vote on the HK$66.8 billion project last month when the Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats lawmakers asked other legislators to declare interest in the project.

But the Liberal Party's Miriam Lau Kin-yee said the group turned down their invitation to appear at the subcommittee and instead would attend the full session.

Lawmaker Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung of Economic Synergy said he will not accept delay tactics anymore and that their survey showed 63 percent of people supported Legco funding the project.

"If the pan-democrats ask the same questions again, I will ask the [finance committee] chairwoman [Emily Lau Wai-hing] to stop them and request an immediate vote," he said.

The group polled 317 people at the Hung Hom MTR station early this month and found 65 percent supported the Hong Kong section of the fast rail and another 63 percent supported the funding.

But lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip of the League of Social Democrats said he will use every means to stop the vote, with league members tabling motions until the meeting ended.

In other incidents yesterday related to the rail project:

Several groups ran newspaper advertisements, some backing and others opposing the funding proposal;

Dozens of protesters marched from Admiralty to the Legislative Council and vowed to organize 10,000 people to surround the building tomorrow in a peaceful protest;

Six young people went on the second day of their four-day kowtow-every-26-step trek from Sheung Shui to Central to urge lawmakers to veto the funding;

Lau Wong-fat, the Heung Yee Kuk chairman, said he has been helping Choi Yuen Tsuen villagers, who will be displaced by the railway construction, find farmland sites. The villagers also held a press conference denouncing the plan.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #246
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Hundreds protest costly railway project in Hong Kong
8 January 2010







HONG KONG, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Hundreds in Hong Kong ringed the city's legislature on Friday as public frustration mounted over government attempts to bulldoze through a high speed railway, an issue that has also catalysed a fresh push for full democracy.

The HK$66.9 billion ($8.6 billion) high speed railway linking Hong Kong to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has been championed by officials as a vital infrastructure project that could bring upwards of HK$87 billion in economic benefits over 50 years by vastly cutting travel times to Chinese cities.

Public bitterness has grown, however, over the planned razing of a village and rural swathes to make way for the project, along with growing cost estimates that now make the rail link one of the most expensive in the world on a per kilometer basis.

Outside the city's legislature, Hong Kongers ranging from grizzled activists and villagers facing eviction, to young protesters feverishly posting updates on Twitter and Facebook, appealed to lawmakers inside not to approve funding for the rail-link that will augment a slower existing one to Guangzhou.

"The government has never asked us what we want," said Chu Hoi-dick, a young activist who opposed the demolition of Hong Kong's historic Star Ferry clock tower several years ago.

The rail link has also become a lightning rod for the venting of broader discontent at Hong Kong's lack of democracy and government accountability for major policies.

Pro-democracy politicians are poised to resign en-masse from the city's legislature this month in frustration at what they say is too slow a pace in political reforms.

"Hong Kong's role is changing in that no longer are we a so-called economic city. Hong Kong is fully aware that to stand up for our rights is the only way to safeguard our future," said Albert Lai, chairman of the Professional Commons.

The Commons is an influential coalition of working professionals, whose detailed proposal for a cheaper alternative rail link with fewer disruptions has so far fallen on deaf government ears.

A vote on the rail link wasn't expected until late evening.

Earlier this week, Leung Chun-ying, a senior member of Hong Kong's cabinet, warned of growing public discontent, fuelled in part from a yawning income gap and high property prices.

"Such a politically-alienated majority may perhaps at present have little capacity to disrupt economic life or political decision-making but within 10 years ... this will no longer be so," he wrote in an article in the Hong Kong Journal this week.

An average of 99,000 passengers are expected by 2016 to travel daily on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong link, which will join Hong Kong to China's high-speed rail network.

Officials have warned of great costs of further delays, while a fresh wave of Chinese visitors are expected to bring tourism, retail, logistics and other economic benefits.

Construction worker unions have also marched in support of the rail-link, saying it will bring thousands of new jobs.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 01:41 AM   #247
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Old January 11th, 2010, 02:49 AM   #248
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Lady with the yellow shirt is enjoying the fight
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Old January 11th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #249
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Greens seek student power for Legco express rail protest
The Standard
Monday, January 11, 2010

A green group has called for students to join its protest outside the Legislative Council on Friday against the building of the Guangzhou- Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link terminal in West Kowloon.

Green Sense is sending invitations to 400 secondary schools and hoping that 50 to 100 schools will respond.

Funding approval was stalled last Friday after the Legco Finance Committee debated the issue for six hours without the issue coming to a vote. The meeting will continue on Friday.

"People born in the post-1990s are experiencing an over-developed Hong Kong. For their future and fortune, I hope they will voice their concern," Green Sense president Tam Hoi-pong said. "Age is not an issue when one wishes to express one's views, as long as it is done in a peaceful way. I believe the young are mature enough to differentiate right from wrong."

Tam will liaise with the Post-80s Anti- Express Rail Group through Facebook to encourage more of them to join in the protests.

Green Sense said setting up the rail terminus in Kam Sheung Road would result in the government's HK$66.9 billion proposal dropping dramatically by HK$50 billion.

Liberal Studies teacher Cheung Yui-fai, from PLK Lee Shing Pik College, said he will bring his students to the assembly.

Leung Yu-fung, 12, and fellow Choi Yuen Tsuen resident Tse Man-kit, 18, said they will join the action.

"Violent action will not win support from the majority of the people," Leung said.

Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers president Yeung Yiu-chung said most people support the construction of the railway.

Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union chairman Cheung Man-kwong said it is up to students and teachers to attend the assembly.

"Students and teachers are free to voice their concern, as long as they do so voluntarily," Cheung said.

Meanwhile, Hong Thai Travel predicts a 15 percent growth in tourist arrivals for the Lunar New Year thanks to the economic recovery and the shortening of travel time through the Wuhan- Guangzhou High-Speed Rail.

Senior operations manager Sunny Yuen Chi- sun also said: "The opening of the line on October 26 "has largely shortened the travelling time by half from six hours between Hong Kong and Xiaoguan. Tours for Changsha and Shaoguan could be threefold more this year."
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Old January 12th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #250
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Party poopers!
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Old January 12th, 2010, 09:52 PM   #251
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Dump HK. It's now an out city.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 02:59 AM   #252
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The funding was approved in the Legislative Council yesterday. A protest-turned-miniriot ensued.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 04:06 AM   #253
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So it is certain now?
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Old January 17th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #254
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy89EYKLzP0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Hnne7brqHo
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Old January 17th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #255
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Quote:
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So it is certain now?
Well, yes, unless it becomes another Narita Airport.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #256
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Old January 18th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #257
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JANUARY 17, 2010, 5:14 P.M. ET
Hong Kong Approves China Rail Link

Clashes between riot police and protesters outside legislature could signal more conflict over political reforms

By JONATHAN CHENG

HONG KONG--The government here won a tough battle to fund a controversial railway project, but an ugly showdown Saturday between protesters and riot police wielding pepper spray could signal more conflict to come over highly contested political reforms.



European Pressphoto Agency An activist calls on authorities to use 66.9 billion Hong Kong dollars to end poverty rather than on the high-speed rail link.


Opposition to those reforms from prodemocracy lawmakers who say they fall short of Hong Kong's democratic aspirations provoked a rare statement of "serious concern" Friday from Beijing's State Council, or cabinet. Some of these lawmakers plan to resign en masse, forcing by-elections they say amount to a referendum on Hong Kong's constitutional future.

Saturday night's vote clears the way for an $8.6 billion high-speed railway that will link Hong Kong to the southern Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou by 2015, integrating Hong Kong more closely with the mainland economy.

Protesters here said the railway benefited private interests at the expense of local residents, and was pushed on the public without proper consultation or consideration for cheaper alternatives.

On Saturday, hundreds of angry protesters surrounded the legislature. As scores of riot police wielding plastic shields and pepper spray were dispatched to block their way, traffic in much of the city's main downtown district shut down for several hours.

Inside the legislative chamber, opposition lawmakers used filibuster-style tactics to turn what was to have been a procedural vote into a two-day marathon session. The railway vote was eventually approved by a 31-21 vote along largely partisan lines, with the opposition minority losing out to the pro-establishment lawmakers that dominate the legislature.

After the vote, protesters beat drums, cried "Long Live People Power" and lay down in mass groups on major streets to block government officials from leaving the legislature.

Eva Cheng, Hong Kong's secretary for transport and housing, was trapped in her car for six hours in the legislature's parking lot, and was only able to leave after sneaking into a nearby subway station after midnight under heavy protection from police officers.

In coming months, lawmakers will vote again on whether to approve a package of constitutional reforms that the government says will move Hong Kong towards eventual direct elections. Prodemocracy opposition legislators who believe the reforms are insufficient came up with their "referendum" idea as a way to demonstrate public opposition.

The State Council said any attempt to resign en masse would be a challenge to Beijing's leadership and stir up further conflict.

"Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a regional administrative unit of the People's Republic of China, and has no powers to invent a 'referendum' system," the State Council statement read, referring to Hong Kong by its full legal name. "There is no constitutional basis for any so-called 'referendum,' nor would it have any legal effect."

Hong Kong, a former British colony that is governed by separate laws than mainland China, was promised eventual direct elections by Beijing, but without a timetable. That's made the question of how and when to introduce direct elections a divisive one since Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, occasionally flaring up into mass demonstrations--most notably in 2003, when the issue helped bring an estimated 500,000 protesters into the streets.


Write to Jonathan Cheng at [email protected]

Source
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Old January 18th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #258
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Post 80s rebels with a cause
The Standard
Friday, January 15, 2010





By the standards of many a Hong Kong demo, the six young protesters were model activists. They didn't chant or yell during four days and three nights of moving slowly but surely along rural roads and city streets to the beat of a single drum. Their only action was to prostrate themselves every 26 steps.

Their message, however, came over loud and clear: shelve existing plans for the SAR's 26-kilometer section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and start the consultation process all over again.

"We have already presented our rationale in detail," says Wong Hin-yan, 24, who was at the head of the solemn line of six - all in their twenties - as they progressed from Sheung Shui to the Legislative Council in Central last week. "But the government has no intention of listening. It has deaf ears."

The young man in a white cotton shirt topped with a blue vest that had characters reading "Anti-Express Railway" on the front and "Suspend the Funding" on the back also said the march was "to express our views in a sentimental and spiritual way" and to make people "stop and think."

The marchers succeeded, though some of those who stopped did not think much of the action by the Post-80s Anti- Express Railway Group, set up in October after the Executive Council approved government plans for the HK$67 billion railway.

For, along with camera clicks, came insults and curses.

"They hardly use their brains," grumbled passer-by Patti Fung. "What they do is meaningl
ess. Have they nothing else to do? Our society needs compromises. We can talk some more about the construction cost if they find it too high. But the rail link must be built or Hong Kong will lag far behind."

Wong takes such criticism in his stride. "Perhaps they don't fully understand what we are trying to say," he says, claiming his group is not against progress. "We just want to raise awareness."

Caught in the rumpus over the actions of a new wave of activists - "Post-80s" is the handy tag for label- loving media - Wong wears a brave face.

"The media and the government are just trying to overgeneralize our images in various ways so that we appear not to have unique characters," he says. "I just do the things that I feel are right.

"I'm deeply dissatisfied with our society, particularly undemocratic urban planning and the legislature, as well as limited freedom of expression."

Indeed, Chan Kin-man, an associate professor of sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, worries about generalizing a generation.

Most young people he knows on campus are more concerned about their personal lives, says Chan, and he doubts whether student movements today can mobilize people like they once did.

Social trends have changed markedly, he adds, with young

people taking advantage of the internet to get together with like-minded people.

"In the past, we had to join a non- governmental organization in order to participate in social movements," he remembers. "We also had to be careful about tactics and so were more rational and calculating to gain public support."

If "post-80s" includes being internet-savvy, then Wong is surely an activist product of the age. A music director-cum-graphic designer for theater productions, he connected with other activists largely via the internet.

The group he belongs to has 40 to 50 core members. About half were born in the 1980s and the rest in the late 1970s and early 1990s.

Most became friends when taking to the streets in campaigns like attempting to save Central's Star Ferry pier and Queen's Pier in 2007 - doing their bit to try to right wrongs, Wong says.

Stigmatizing her generation

In the struggle for attention on the shape of the rail project, the group has sought alternative forms of protest.

"We were all deeply moved by the peaceful tactics used by South Koreans in their World Trade Organization protests," Wong recalls.

That was in December 2005, when anti-free trade protesters gave local activists a new insight on rallying, including a three-step, one-kowtow march as trade ministers met in Wan Chai.

Also high on the new wave of youth- led social movements is Christina Chan Hau-man, 22, who made her mark with a Tibet flag during the runup to the Beijing Olympics.

The University of Hong Kong philosophy student was arrested on Saturday for allegedly assaulting a policewoman during scuffles outside the Central Government Liaison Office after a democracy march.

Chan, now on bail, dislikes people stigmatizing her generation. "We don't tend to use violence," she says. "We just fight back when the police try to suppress our freedom to demonstrate."

On the administration and its plans to study the post-80s generation, Chan says: "It's on the wrong track. It's not just the post-80s that are hitting the streets. It would be more practical for authorities to tackle political and social problems directly."

At 27, Ronald Chan Ngok-pang is of the same generation, but this Southern District councillor is also part of the system that protesters are fighting. Yet Chan says he too is much concerned about social issues, and he offers an alternative to recent protest action with a "been there, done that" flourish.

He went to the United States with the idea of becoming a doctor but switched to social science. He returned after seven years as a graduate of Stanford University's Public Policy Program.

Along the way, Chan says, he was really aggressive in his pursuit of political ideals, taking part in protests on a regular basis.

"I fought with the police and slept on the streets," he says with a chuckle about protests against the Iraq war. (It's not known whether brawling was on Chan's CV when he landed a job as director of policy development at the Savantas Policy Institute. The think- tank is bossed by legislator Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, once the iron lady of the SAR's law-and-order apparatus.)

Such acts notwithstanding, Chan says he has always been inclined towards being measured and rational, and "running for elections is in my personality and aligned with my beliefs."

Hearts and minds

All in all, then, Chan reckons he has the experience to understand perfectly the reasoning of young people protesting now - and to say they are misguided in the way they are going about things.

Confrontations to undermine the government will not help to win people's hearts and minds, Chan argues, and he perceives a preference among the population at large for ideas to be advanced in a peaceful and rational manner.

But he covers his bases by urging the government to "listen to dissidents and make sure there are sufficient avenues for young people to make their voices heard so they do not resort to hitting the streets."

As for the express railway row, he encourages young protesters - "a small pocket of the population" - to try to understand the government's decision and the people's desire to see it built.

But Chinese University's Chan Kin- man thinks the government must take a longer-term view of life instead of single-mindedly chasing development if it is to earn the trust of young people.

"Take the express rail protests," he says. "Basically, the young do not trust what the government is saying about the economic gains because they know they will not be the ones enjoying the fruits of the labor."

The last word on the idea there is something new and perhaps alarming in social action by the young of today goes to "Long Hair" Leung Kwok- hung, who joins more demos in a month than most activists do in a lifetime.

"There's is no such thing as the post- 80s. People in other age groups have also joined in recent protests. No matter the era there is injustice in society. So it's normal to see people, including youngsters, taking to the streets to fight for their causes."
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #259
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HK Lawmakers Approve Funding For HK$66.9 Bln Rail Line
16 January 2010

Protesters force government officials to leave the Legislative Council with police escort.















HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Hong Kong lawmakers on Saturday approved funding of a controversial HK$66.9 billion (US$8.62 billion) rail link that will connect Hong Kong to mainland cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The 26-kilometer Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link railway will help reinforce Hong Kong's status as a transport, financial and commercial hub of China, the government said earlier.

The government has faced heavy opposition for the project from the public and some lawmakers, who criticized the rail link as being too expensive to build. They said the government haven't adequately consulted the public before going forward with the multi-billion dollar plan.

The railway will connect downtown Hong Kong with China's national high-speed rail network. When the rail link is completed, travel time between Hong Kong and Beijing by rail will be reduced to 10 hours from over 30 hours at present, according to the Hong Kong government.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
In 40 years, they will be one country anyway
It doesn't matter 40 years or not, Hong Kong was, is and will always be a part of China!
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