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Old February 18th, 2017, 12:43 PM   #1041
hkskyline
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Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post
The Chinese government would be able to revoke the documents and cancel the tickets - thus turning the passenger into a trespasser who can be removed by HK police under HK law.
So is there a need to go through immigration formalities at all? What about foreigners? How would they get their passports stamped for entry into China?
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Old February 20th, 2017, 02:44 PM   #1042
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Chinese consular staff in HK are subject to HK laws and cannot ask HK police to enforce PRC law in HK.

If a passenger is denied entry into China at West Kowloon due to the Chinese "blacklist", HK police cannot forbid the passenger from boarding because that passenger did not violate any HK laws. Hence, the PRC agents at the terminus have no power whatsoever, rendering their check or presence useless.

European examples do not apply because HK has to adhere to the Basic Law, whose clauses forbid any joint immigration facilities enforcing different laws on HK soil.

This is not an example of how other countries' models can work in HK, but whether the law can allow this to happen. These are 2 very different problems.
There is nothing unique, sacred or mysterious about HK Basic Law that legislation can not be enacted to make the needed changes. Just at UK, French and Belgian laws needed to be enacted to allow the destination officials to work on their respective territory. However in now case has the sovereignty of UK, France or Belgium been diminished, lowered or compromised. It is just the political will of Legco politicians that is the problem, the reality is not any different to the many examples of what exists in multiple places around the world.

The Chinese immigration and customs officials would operate not as law enforcement officers, enforcing Chinese law, they would only check to see if people are eligible to enter China and to gain access to the WKT platforms. Anyone refused entry will have to leave or would be subject to HK police if legal action is warranted. It would not be the Mainland Chinese making the arrests. Just like all the overseas examples, rules and limitations are placed on the PRC customs & immigration officials working in HK that clearly define their roles and responsibilty, including no powers of arrest.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 05:05 PM   #1043
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Distrust of Beijing is at an all time high amongst the Hong Kong public, I can probably see why hkskyline is being so defensive about it.

After all, even if there were laws put in place to clearly define the limits of Chinese authority, do you think the PRC are ones to respect the rule of law?
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Old February 20th, 2017, 05:10 PM   #1044
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Short View Post
There is nothing unique, sacred or mysterious about HK Basic Law that legislation can not be enacted to make the needed changes. Just at UK, French and Belgian laws needed to be enacted to allow the destination officials to work on their respective territory. However in now case has the sovereignty of UK, France or Belgium been diminished, lowered or compromised. It is just the political will of Legco politicians that is the problem, the reality is not any different to the many examples of what exists in multiple places around the world.

The Chinese immigration and customs officials would operate not as law enforcement officers, enforcing Chinese law, they would only check to see if people are eligible to enter China and to gain access to the WKT platforms. Anyone refused entry will have to leave or would be subject to HK police if legal action is warranted. It would not be the Mainland Chinese making the arrests. Just like all the overseas examples, rules and limitations are placed on the PRC customs & immigration officials working in HK that clearly define their roles and responsibilty, including no powers of arrest.
Of course these PRC agents are enforcing PRC laws with their blacklists from their political games. They disguise these behind suggestions of "trespassing" and using HK police to rid their dirty laundry.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 06:25 PM   #1045
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Of course these PRC agents are enforcing PRC laws with their blacklists from their political games. They disguise these behind suggestions of "trespassing" and using HK police to rid their dirty laundry.
But even in Hong Kong, it is illegal to ride trains or planes without tickets. China is not obliged to sell tickets to anyone.
If China allows HK police to check people against Chinese political blacklists in Hong Kong, it means politically blacklisted people are not trapped on arrival in China and prosecuted in Chinese courts under Chinese laws - they are just turned over to Hong Kong police who releases them into Hong Kong because no Hong Kong laws are broken - they are not kept in Hong Kong prison or fined in Hong Kong, and at most lose the ticket price.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 07:03 PM   #1046
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But even in Hong Kong, it is illegal to ride trains or planes without tickets. China is not obliged to sell tickets to anyone.
If China allows HK police to check people against Chinese political blacklists in Hong Kong, it means politically blacklisted people are not trapped on arrival in China and prosecuted in Chinese courts under Chinese laws - they are just turned over to Hong Kong police who releases them into Hong Kong because no Hong Kong laws are broken - they are not kept in Hong Kong prison or fined in Hong Kong, and at most lose the ticket price.
The substance is these people are not allowed to enter China. You can decorate it all you want by finding an obscure local law to mask it, but we all know these are politically-motivated and directed from Beijing.

If no Hong Kong laws are broken, why are Hong Kong police officers involved at all? That is contradictory already.
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Old February 21st, 2017, 07:29 AM   #1047
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The substance is these people are not allowed to enter China. You can decorate it all you want by finding an obscure local law to mask it, but we all know these are politically-motivated and directed from Beijing.

If no Hong Kong laws are broken, why are Hong Kong police officers involved at all? That is contradictory already.
It's true that by doing so Beijing is effectively outsourcing their dirty job. But even if Hong Kong was a completely independent country, the same principle would apply. The destination country won't permit you entry? You'll get barred from the flight/train/bus/ferry/etc, and there's no recourse under *local* law to challenge the decision of the destination country.

Are you a pro-democracy activist who books a flight to the mainland from HKIA? You'll still be denied boarding at HKIA by airline check-in staff. Are you an Iranian green card holder who's been denied boarding a flight to the US purely because Donald Trump said so? Sorry, you're out of luck. Ditto if you're a western citizen who wants to travel to Israel to protest its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

It's unfair, yes, but ultimately the decision is with the destination country who gets let in. And as every country levies fines against airlines/railway companies who bring in inadmissible passengers, it's best simply for the companies to deny boarding and refund the tickets - in which case the passengers would have no business at the point of departure.
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Old February 21st, 2017, 02:47 PM   #1048
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Why is it okay then for Hong Kong to have Immigration and Customs located within Mainland territory at Shenzhen Bay but similar arrangements can not be replicated at WKT?

In the late 80's and early 90's there were similar arguments against the Sangatte Protocol that created the current arrangements for the Eurostar. British interests have always been defensive and opposed to many things French and linked Belgium controls with the EU parliament. This dislike and distrust was the basis for the Brexit vote. However, none of the sovereignty issues or customs fears ever came to light. Watch any of the countless TV shows showing UK officials working in Calais and it demonstrates clearly how any indiscretions are turned over to French authorities.
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Old February 21st, 2017, 04:51 PM   #1049
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Why is it okay then for Hong Kong to have Immigration and Customs located within Mainland territory at Shenzhen Bay but similar arrangements can not be replicated at WKT?

In the late 80's and early 90's there were similar arguments against the Sangatte Protocol that created the current arrangements for the Eurostar. British interests have always been defensive and opposed to many things French and linked Belgium controls with the EU parliament. This dislike and distrust was the basis for the Brexit vote. However, none of the sovereignty issues or customs fears ever came to light. Watch any of the countless TV shows showing UK officials working in Calais and it demonstrates clearly how any indiscretions are turned over to French authorities.
The Basic Law applies to Hong Kong only, and not in China.

If France was sending their undercover officers to the UK to arrest people violating French law, then all hell will break loose. That's what Hong Kong is facing in the midst of a more bold Beijing these days.
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Old February 21st, 2017, 04:57 PM   #1050
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Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post
It's true that by doing so Beijing is effectively outsourcing their dirty job. But even if Hong Kong was a completely independent country, the same principle would apply. The destination country won't permit you entry? You'll get barred from the flight/train/bus/ferry/etc, and there's no recourse under *local* law to challenge the decision of the destination country.
Being allowed to board with a valid ticket is a different thing than the destination country forbidding your entry. The latter part doesn't violate the departure country's laws, but the destination country can fine the airline if they did not perform sufficient checks on travel documents.

For the higher profile cases, I won't be surprised if Chinese immigration officials sent notices to airlines to note whose IDs have been revoked, in which case the airline has a duty to forbid these people from entry. Then there are the countless others that don't get such high profile treatment that get turned around upon arrival. Not every dissident or unwanted tourist gets such high PR treatment.

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Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post
It's unfair, yes, but ultimately the decision is with the destination country who gets let in. And as every country levies fines against airlines/railway companies who bring in inadmissible passengers, it's best simply for the companies to deny boarding and refund the tickets - in which case the passengers would have no business at the point of departure.
It should always be the destination country to deal with this on their soil.

We need to be very careful whose laws apply and what jurisdiction should enforce whose laws. That's why this joint immigration facility is very touchy from a legal perspective.

I don't think forgoing Chinese immigration checks in a unified facility is even being considered an option, so this trespassing work-around is not going to work.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 07:58 AM   #1051
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The Basic Law applies to Hong Kong only, and not in China.

If France was sending their undercover officers to the UK to arrest people violating French law, then all hell will break loose. That's what Hong Kong is facing in the midst of a more bold Beijing these days.
France has sent it's agents to spy, kill and assassinate persons on foreign territory, in my lifetime too. Plus several other such espionage matters. Initial fears were more on immigration and of commercial turmoil. However the influx of Eastern Europeans flooding through the tunnels never happened and it has proven to be a strong and effective border for over 22 years of operation. So effective that a new treaty was made to allow for the same juxtaposed controls to be place in Channel Ports too, which actually improved services and streamlined processes.

Hong Kong Basic Law applies at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point in China, so it is flexible to work on the Chinese mainland. However there are checks and balances for the staff that work there. Similar checks and balances, rules and regulations would apply to PRC officials at WKT. Just as PLA troops and such are limited in what they can and can not do under Hong Kong Basic Law within Hong Kong territory.

It is far better to have a framework of legal definitions and governance in place to clearly set out the roles, limitations and safeguards available. This will allay any fears that the public might hold, when it is clear to see what is happening.

The argument that this would lead to all manner of cloak and dagger activities is absurd. People operating in that world are not accountable to any such rules and are in operation now with the current arrangements in place. It is not even related to the issue, it is like equating the Kim Jong Nam assassination to the Malaysia/Singapore High Speed Rail project. It is a completely different matter that can only be resolved by other means but has not reflection on the WKT.

Further to that point, some Hong Kong people have said it would make it easier for people to 'disappear'. Any person would still need to pass HK Immigration and Customs officials to board the train. Then if any nefarious use of the train is intended, it would be an advantage to have Chinese Customs and Immigration on mainland territory, because then they would have more power and jurisdiction to do as they please. However if they had to pass through Chinese Immigration and Customs on Hong Kong territory, they will be subject to HK law and have access to HK police, thus a huge disadvantage. HK police would still have the power to board, search, detain and/or rescue any person while the train is on HK territory, as well as the ability to stop the train before it crosses the border.

Last edited by Short; February 22nd, 2017 at 08:09 AM.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 06:50 PM   #1052
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he Basic Law applies to Hong Kong only, and not in China.

If France was sending their undercover officers to the UK to arrest people violating French law, then all hell will break loose. That's what Hong Kong is facing in the midst of a more bold Beijing these days.
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France and the UK are two seperate sovereign nations, The relationship between the PRC is more like that between Northern Ireland and the UK. HK has Llmited self rule they are not a sovereign nation . The basic law are all laws they can be amended, changed or discarded. There is no Brexit option on the table here, come to a compromse or accomodation or have one imposed upon you it is that simple.
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 06:33 PM   #1053
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Short View Post
Hong Kong Basic Law applies at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point in China, so it is flexible to work on the Chinese mainland. However there are checks and balances for the staff that work there. Similar checks and balances, rules and regulations would apply to PRC officials at WKT. Just as PLA troops and such are limited in what they can and can not do under Hong Kong Basic Law within Hong Kong territory.
Completely irrelevant as reciprocity does not apply.

The PLA troops stationed in HK are subject to HK law, not PRC law.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 08:09 AM   #1054
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Completely irrelevant as reciprocity does not apply.

The PLA troops stationed in HK are subject to HK law, not PRC law.
That is exactly what I mean. Any arrangement at WKT would work under Hong Kong Basic Law. No loss of sovereignty or reduced jurisdiction. No legal framework set by the Legco would allow it.

There is a proven track record of such arrangements working both in Hong Kong and across the world. I am yet to hear why it is perfectly feasible for Hong Kong to have Immigration and Custom officials stationed within mainland Chinese territory but not the opposite?

The arguments against PRC officials working at WKT and how it relates to the Basic Law, is like listening to the American gun lobby defend against gun control with the Second Amendment.

I can understand fears about secret mainland activities, but I can not see how they relate to the issue at West Kowloon Terminus, no one has yet linked the issues in anyway. Most of it is scare mongering and irrelevant to the way that WKT would operate. Even if the railway was never built, such fears would still abound, no matter if they are justified or not.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 05:36 PM   #1055
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There is a proven track record of such arrangements working both in Hong Kong and across the world. I am yet to hear why it is perfectly feasible for Hong Kong to have Immigration and Custom officials stationed within mainland Chinese territory but not the opposite?
The Basic Law was designed to safeguard Hong Kong's way of life from the PRC, not the other way around.

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I can understand fears about secret mainland activities, but I can not see how they relate to the issue at West Kowloon Terminus, no one has yet linked the issues in anyway. Most of it is scare mongering and irrelevant to the way that WKT would operate. Even if the railway was never built, such fears would still abound, no matter if they are justified or not.
These arrangements need to adhere to local laws. Simple. It's not scaremongering, but a real legal issue on jurisdiction and enforcement - the basic pillars of our rule of law.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:32 AM   #1056
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It is a real legal issue, yes, but a legal issue that has long been solved by many other nations in the world.

Remind me, under which provision of the Basic Law are PLA troops allowed to stay in Hong Kong?
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Old February 25th, 2017, 04:21 AM   #1057
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This may sound crazy but it's obvious the CCP is not going to respect HK basic law if they don't want to. If someone pisses them off or the situation get's to hot HK basic law will go out the window and they'll do what ever they want. Then they'll just say "what are you talking about we didn't do anything wrong." Can you actually prove mainland agents kidnapped people from HK you can't but we all know what happened. Basic Law kind of doesn't mean anything it's like rule of law in the PRC the CCP will just ignore it when they see fit.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 04:41 AM   #1058
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The Basic Law was designed to safeguard Hong Kong's way of life from the PRC, not the other way around.
Just as British, French, Belgian, Malaysian, Singapore, US and Canadian law safeguards their respective countries interests. There is nothing unique about Hong Kong that differs itself and prevents it from hosting juxtaposed controls, especially when it allows it's own controls to be based in the PRC.


Quote:
These arrangements need to adhere to local laws. Simple. It's not scaremongering, but a real legal issue on jurisdiction and enforcement - the basic pillars of our rule of law.
Just as the sovereignty of any nation forms part of basic pillars of their respective rule of law. This is no fundamental reason why Hong Kong can not enact the appropriate legislation to allow for WKT to operate in it's intended method, just as Chinese legislation had to be changed to allow for HK officials to operate at Shenzhen Bay.

That is what governments do. They draft, debate and decide on appropriate legislation for any situation that is required. There were real legal issues for all the treaties and laws passed and decided upon for all countries that have juxtaposed controls. That is why the Legco can set the legal framework that lays out which local laws apply and how it can work without causing any detriment to Hong Kong and it's people.

Rules, regulations and laws are created, repealed and amended all the time in Hong Kong, just as in every other legal jurisdiction. It just takes political will to make the required changes. For any unforeseen or unexpected consequences for any given law, the legislation can always be amended and improved upon. With the fears that are in place, it would be political suicide for any Hong Kong legislator that would draft a law that would diminish any freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 05:30 AM   #1059
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Just as British, French, Belgian, Malaysian, Singapore, US and Canadian law safeguards their respective countries interests. There is nothing unique about Hong Kong that differs itself and prevents it from hosting juxtaposed controls, especially when it allows it's own controls to be based in the PRC.
You are aware of One Country Two Systems, right? That's the fundamental concept China promised Hong Kong when it was handed back from the British. None of the other countries you have listed practice this unique dual system within the same sovereign country.

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Just as the sovereignty of any nation forms part of basic pillars of their respective rule of law. This is no fundamental reason why Hong Kong can not enact the appropriate legislation to allow for WKT to operate in it's intended method, just as Chinese legislation had to be changed to allow for HK officials to operate at Shenzhen Bay.
Beijing also has ultimate authority to impose its interpretation, and affect Hong Kong's rule of law. We saw that happen in 2016 over another matter. Any attempts to change the laws to allow PRC agents to station on HK soil or any form of PRC law enforcement in HK will be met with great opposition. Is it the continuation of the slippery slope that will erode One Country Two Systems?

I don't think you understand or appreciate the unique legal framework that safeguards HK's Western system of rule of law and governance over that in the PRC.

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Rules, regulations and laws are created, repealed and amended all the time in Hong Kong, just as in every other legal jurisdiction. It just takes political will to make the required changes. For any unforeseen or unexpected consequences for any given law, the legislation can always be amended and improved upon. With the fears that are in place, it would be political suicide for any Hong Kong legislator that would draft a law that would diminish any freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong.
The politicians are also not stupid. They won't promise something that will backlash badly among the public. The backlash over political harmonization and mainland agents operating in HK against the Basic Law has been very bad in 2016. Any bill to allow PRC agents to work in HK or to enforce PRC law in HK is political suicide right now.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 05:32 AM   #1060
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This may sound crazy but it's obvious the CCP is not going to respect HK basic law if they don't want to. If someone pisses them off or the situation get's to hot HK basic law will go out the window and they'll do what ever they want. Then they'll just say "what are you talking about we didn't do anything wrong." Can you actually prove mainland agents kidnapped people from HK you can't but we all know what happened. Basic Law kind of doesn't mean anything it's like rule of law in the PRC the CCP will just ignore it when they see fit.
Beijing has ultimate authority over the "interpretation" of HK laws but if they blatantly trample all over it, they will never be able to reconcile with Taiwan. HK and Macau were examples Beijing wanted to show that different political ideologies can be respected under the China umbrella. That and also they risk another set of nasty civil disobedience that have surfaced in HK in recent years that have embarrassed Beijing in the international community.

Probably not a gamble Beijing wants to play with.
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