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Old January 26th, 2017, 02:09 PM   #1001
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The Standard Excerpt
MTR warns over backing for Link
Jan. 23, 2017

MTR Corp Limited chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang warned that the Guangzhou- Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link cannot be completed as planned in the third quarter in 2018 if the Legislative Council does not approve the co-location arrangements as soon as possible.

The station of the Express Rail Link, he said, was built on the assumption that co-location, the siting of local and mainland immigration checks, would happen at the West Kowloon terminus. Pan- democrats argue the plan violates the Basic Law.

If the plan is changed, MTRCL may not have enough time to alter plans and finish construction by the deadline. The Express Rail Link is 86 percent completed.

Ma said government's subsidy in the form of a site offering would be necessary when it expands the railway network.

The government invited the MTRC to submit project proposals for three new lines - the Northern Link (including Kwu Tung Station), Tuen Mun South Extension and the East Kowloon Line - in the first quarter of 2016.

"The projects must be led by the government, which has funded most of the railway projects," said Ma.
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Old January 30th, 2017, 05:19 PM   #1002
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Old February 7th, 2017, 02:10 PM   #1003
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HK will come to appreciate its regional links
February 2, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying delivered his last policy address two weeks ago. He took a step back and compared his achievements in office with his manifesto back in 2012. As well as social and welfare issues, he particularly focused on housing, transport and other infrastructure. Housing has been a major challenge. But the overall infrastructure situation has progressed significantly.

We have more hotel space, conference and exhibition facilities and business and office districts in the pipeline. Kai Tak is an obvious example, but expansion is under way in Tung Chung and planned for other parts of the New Territories. Also, there is the technology and innovation hub at Lok Ma Chau.

At the same time, major long-term transport projects are nearing completion. The high-speed Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link will massively improve our connections with Guangdong province and other areas. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will reduce travel times between points on either side of the Pearl River estuary.

So far, these projects have been associated with controversy and criticism. Once they are open, however, we will see them in terms of opening up a world of new possibilities. No one knows for sure the full range of effects we can expect when cities like Shanwei (汕尾) or Shaoguan (韶關) are less than a couple of hours away by rail, or we have direct bus routes to the Zhuhai (珠海) suburbs. Certainly, millions of people in Zhuhai and the surrounding areas will have easier access to the Hong Kong airport. The region’s manufacturing industry will benefit from improved freight links to our air and sea facilities. And Hong Kong people themselves will find it much easier to get to districts that currently seem far away. These include areas that are still relatively undeveloped – where all sorts of new industries or other activities might grow.

The idea of Hong Kong in a regional context is a sensitive issue. People here are very aware of the differences between this city and the mainland. They greatly value our rights and freedoms – not simply as economic advantages, but as vital to our whole local way of life. And so they should. The problem is that all talk of integration and increased cross-border activity is treated with suspicion.

Common sense tells us that a city of 7 million cannot be cut off from its surroundings. And Hong Kong’s surroundings are becoming exceptional by any standards. If you have visited the Pearl River Delta over the past few decades – or just looked at the maps – you will know that a true “metropolis” is taking shape. It is not just some slogan. The cities from Zhuhai to our west, up to Foshan (佛山) and Guangzhou and down to Dongguan (東莞) and Shenzhen are becoming a cluster that rivals Greater Tokyo.
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Old February 10th, 2017, 09:46 AM   #1004
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Hong Kong will present plan on co-location of checkpoints for Guangzhou rail link before new government takes over
Undersecretary for Transport and Housing Yau Shing-mu says it will be put forward to public before late June
February 10, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The proposal on the controversial co-location of checkpoints at the West Kowloon terminus for the HK$84.4 billion express rail link to Guangzhou will be put forward to the public before the current administration ends its term in late June, the Hong Kong government has vowed.

On Friday, Undersecretary for Transport and Housing Yau Shing-mu assured the Legislative Council’s subcommittee on railways mattersthat this important issue would not be left to the next government.

“As a responsible government, we will put forward the co-location proposal to the public before the current administration ends at the end of June so that there will be time to introduce local legislation for the co-location arrangement,” he told lawmakers.

“We still aim to resolve the relevant legal issues in time so the high-speed rail link can [start its operations] as scheduled for the third quarter of next year, when all construction works are set to be completed,” he added.

Dr Philip Wong Wai-ming, projects director of MTR Corporation, said the West Kowloon terminus was specially designed for the co-location of checkpoints, and added that the express rail link could be fully completed by the third quarter of next year.
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Old February 13th, 2017, 05:23 PM   #1005
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So does the co-location of checkpoints mean that mainland China checkpoints will be at Kowloon station rather than Shenzhen Futian? Logically that would make more sense in my opinion yet I can see how it can be controversial having mainland China directly controlling a piece of Hong Kong. I don't understand the whole depth of this yet I feel like this is the surface issue.
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Old February 13th, 2017, 05:33 PM   #1006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post


So does the co-location of checkpoints mean that mainland China checkpoints will be at Kowloon station rather than Shenzhen Futian? Logically that would make more sense in my opinion yet I can see how it can be controversial having mainland China directly controlling a piece of Hong Kong. I don't understand the whole depth of this yet I feel like this is the surface issue.
Yes, the immigration checkpoint for both sides is expected to be on the Hong Kong side, but this brings some interesting constitutional questions, such as mainland authorities have no legal basis to enforce China's laws on Hong Kong territory.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 03:21 AM   #1007
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How are the immigration and security arrangements at Hung Hom station for the current through trains to the mainland from HK? If I'm not wrong, passengers have to go through immigration and security checks at that station in Kowloon pre-boarding anyway.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 05:38 AM   #1008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingstingsting View Post


How are the immigration and security arrangements at Hung Hom station for the current through trains to the mainland from HK? If I'm not wrong, passengers have to go through immigration and security checks at that station in Kowloon pre-boarding anyway.
You're stamped out of Hong Kong at Hung Hom, but you're not stamped into the PRC until you get to Beijing/Shanghai/Guangzhou.

IIRC CRH didn't want to do this at WKT because it would limit their available destinations from there to only where there are CIQ facilities to enter China.

They could have PRC arrival customs at Futian, but that would force all HK-bound trains to terminate at Futian and then you take a shuttle train into Hong Kong. Not a good solution either - just look at the KTM connection to Singapore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
such as mainland authorities have no legal basis to enforce China's laws on Hong Kong territory.
AHAHAHAHAHAHA

On a more serious note, can't they adopt something similar to US border preclearance, unless the Basic Law explicitly prohibits such arrangements? (though honestly, the cynic in me says that the PRC are going to get rid of such troublesome "rules" anyway...)

From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Travellers who have passed through the U.S. government checks, but whose flight or ship has not departed, remain in the legal jurisdiction of the host country. U.S. officials may question and search travellers with the passenger's permission, but they do not have powers of arrest (either for customs or immigration violations, or for the execution of outstanding warrants), although they can deny boarding. Local criminal laws apply, and are enforced by local officials.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 09:29 AM   #1009
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There can be a compromise where, at WKT, Chinese "travel agents" will perform document checks and be allowed to deny boarding to those who are flagged. All HK exit control happens at WKT.

On trains to Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the PRC entry control happens at the arrival destination.

On trains heading further afield, PRC immigration agents will walk around the train after it leaves HK territory to conduct detailed checks. Those who are denied entry can be taken off at Guangzhou and sent back.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 11:50 AM   #1010
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I know your suggestion is an attempt to be constructive but it is less than ideal.

Anybody found to be entering the PRC without the proper documentation will not be taken back to their point of origin they will be detaiined , fined and deported. Such a process requires the use of valuale reources. Travel agents are not law enforcement officials , they cannot carry out checks to authenticate the validity of travel documents and the like.

A compromise is indeed possible the issue isn't if it's possible the issue is a political lobby in HK that places their own self serving political agenda ahead of the national and public interest.

In the end the most logical course of action will be taken, in the case of the HK Macua bridge the immigraton clearance point is well within HK , it's not halfwy across the river.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 01:07 PM   #1011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
I know your suggestion is an attempt to be constructive but it is less than ideal.

Anybody found to be entering the PRC without the proper documentation will not be taken back to their point of origin they will be detaiined , fined and deported. Such a process requires the use of valuale reources. Travel agents are not law enforcement officials , they cannot carry out checks to authenticate the validity of travel documents and the like.

A compromise is indeed possible the issue isn't if it's possible the issue is a political lobby in HK that places their own self serving political agenda ahead of the national and public interest.

In the end the most logical course of action will be taken, in the case of the HK Macua bridge the immigraton clearance point is well within HK , it's not halfwy across the river.
No, the issue is the fact that there is no legal precedent for this.
And of course they're self serving - would you protect the rights of your local city over the wishes of a secretive and power-hungry Beijing elite?
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Old February 15th, 2017, 01:49 PM   #1012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post

Anybody found to be entering the PRC without the proper documentation will not be taken back to their point of origin they will be detaiined , fined and deported. Such a process requires the use of valuale reources. Travel agents are not law enforcement officials , they cannot carry out checks to authenticate the validity of travel documents and the like.
I guess he means border agents given authority to inspect documents and deny a person boarding, but without actual powers of arrest and detainment accorded to "real" border agents. Hence the quotation marks. And when he says "taken off at Guangzhou and sent back" he means "detained, fined, and deported" - which, by the way, means the same as "taken back to their point of origin". If not, where do you deport them?

For trains to Shenzhen and Guangzhou, just put them on the next train back to Hong Kong.

For trains heading further afield, I guess for immigration purposes we can consider them to be on Chinese soil the moment they step off the platform and onto the train at WKT. PRC border agents are not to leave the train at WKT, or be arrested for trespassing under HK law, however they are authorized to perform the actual border check between WKT and Futian, and can be removed from the train once at Futian or Guangzhou if not allowed to enter or leave China, then put on the next HK-bound train in the first scenario. That is, if they weren't turned away at check in. Since these agents will be based out of Futian or Guangzhou, we can consider them to have entered China via these stations.

Anyway, it's not exactly self-serving, it's a matter of respecting HK's autonomy, which the PRC seem to be doing less and less these days - Hong Kongers are rightly concerned about the PRC's extra-legal and extra-judicial actions in HK, which has become a political issue. What's to stop a PRC "border agent" (who actually works for the Chinese secret police) from leaving his office and walk out of WKT, on his way to kidnap a publisher of seditious books?
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Last edited by luacstjh98; February 15th, 2017 at 02:03 PM.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 02:42 PM   #1013
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Not sure whether they can practically inspect a full train of 1000 passengers during the 14-minute ride into Futian and weed out the bad-listed folks to send home. It'll probably require a huge troop of border agents to achieve this and there are no segregated places to question people if suspicions do come up.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 03:06 PM   #1014
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The issue should be dealt with in the same way as many diplomatic posts and embassies. You may have the Chinese customs and immigration acting as 'experts' who handle the rules and identifying indiscretions but always defer Hong Kong authorities for actual enforcement of those rules. Just like foreign embassy/consular staff would man the counters and deal with people face to face, but when needed, allow local police to act as required when appropriate.

Could you imagine the fury in London, Brussels or Paris if the convenient co-location of their customs and immigration staff were removed from Eurostar stations due to some possible Brexit changes.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 01:02 AM   #1015
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I share the same thought re: Eurostar arrangements.

If I understand correctly, the entirety of the 26km stretch from WKT to Futian will be in tunnel.

I think we can all agree that the territory and legal jurisdiction complexity has no end in sight other than 1. radically altering the Basic Law to redefine HK territory or 2. Overlooking the Basic Law thereby setting a risky precedent for the HK SAR Government almost akin to a country ceding 'sovereign territory' to a neighbour.

Just addressing practicality, what can the PRC do anyway within the HSR tunnels that they can't already do? The PLA has significant presence in HK territory as it is. The tunnels are only small enough to fit trains that will be going at high speeds of over 200 km/h so what can they do in those tunnels?

Also, is there a precedent anywhere else in the World of one jurisdiction having control of a long stretch of one underground stratum of a neighbouring jurisdiction's territory? I am referring to the XRL which is entirely in tunnel and not at-grade or elevated.

I don't mean any disrespect for the Hong Kong people but I for one am surprised that the PRC Government hasn't forced this matter much earlier on. Personally, I share the concerns of the residents and the possible gradual erosion of their autonomy but I would hate to see the XRL not maximised to its full potential for mutual benefit of the mainland and the HK SAR societies and economies.

How about an exchange of land or stratum of land? Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos save for one layer lol.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 02:59 AM   #1016
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I guess there is precedent for such a situation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malays...eement_of_1990
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Old February 16th, 2017, 03:19 AM   #1017
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I have travelled a few times on that line before it was removed and it was a funny thing in itself. For some time before Woodlands checkpoint was instituted, I wonder if there were any people jumping off the train

Several differences between the KTM land and the XRL include:
1. That KTM strip of railway land was agreed upon well before the separation of the two sovereign nations.
2. The KTM strip was not fenced well at all so it was easy to even traverse the tracks.
3. Doors on trains were easy to open and trains travelled at 60 km/h.
4. The XRL will be underground and at no point should it see the light of day.
5. The XRL will not have much space bordering the tracks for other purposes.
6. The land above and under the XRL should still be under HK jurisdiction while the layer of the XRL itself would ostensibly be under Mainland jurisdiction, which seems to me unprecedented.

Where else in the World would just one layer of land be entangled in such a manner?

The only two other comparable places would be HS1 and also the future Malaysia-Singapore HSR link. The former is not fully in tunnel and the latter is still in planning.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 09:09 AM   #1018
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At Vancouver's central station, passengers for the train to Seattle pre-clear US immigration at the station. The train then doesn't stop at the US border, and passengers are free to leave the train at any stop in the US. But until the train crosses the US border, only Canadian law applies, even if a murder is committed on the train.

Another way to resolve the WKT problem is to station PRC border agents at WKT, while stationing Hong Kong police in the "cleared" sections of the station to emphasize Hong Kong's jurisdiction over it. And at the end of their shift, the PRC border agents must immediately take the next train out.

But that doesn't resolve the question of how the mainland prevents undesirables (like political dissidents, spies, defectors, etc) from using this as a loophole to escape China.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 09:23 AM   #1019
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There is no need for a change in sovereignty of any part of the XRL. This opens up a bigger can a worms than is necessary. Especially when the territory is for the most part a tube in the ground.

The border can remain at the Shenzhen River as it stands. It just needs boundaries on the staff concerned. Just as incursions and trespassing on PLA establishments have been referred to and handled by Hong Kong Police.

There should be no fears of anyone being handed to Mainland law authorities. People caught attempting to smuggle goods or fraudulently enter or leave Hong Kong, regardless if caught by Chinese or Hong Kong officials, they would be handed over to local authorities and tried under Hong Kong law. This happens seamlessly in Europe or at US pre-clearance facilities without any fears of a loss of sovereignty or authority.

It does not need to be over complicated, just needing clear boundaries on roles and duties for the Mainland officials.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 03:50 PM   #1020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post
At Vancouver's central station, passengers for the train to Seattle pre-clear US immigration at the station. The train then doesn't stop at the US border, and passengers are free to leave the train at any stop in the US. But until the train crosses the US border, only Canadian law applies, even if a murder is committed on the train.

Another way to resolve the WKT problem is to station PRC border agents at WKT, while stationing Hong Kong police in the "cleared" sections of the station to emphasize Hong Kong's jurisdiction over it. And at the end of their shift, the PRC border agents must immediately take the next train out.

But that doesn't resolve the question of how the mainland prevents undesirables (like political dissidents, spies, defectors, etc) from using this as a loophole to escape China.
PRC border agents cannot enforce PRC laws on Hong Kong soil. That's the bookseller case all over again.
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