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Old February 25th, 2017, 05:34 AM   #1061
hkskyline
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Originally Posted by luacstjh98 View Post
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?
http://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/basicl...chapter_2.html

Article 14
The Central People's Government shall be responsible for the defence of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be responsible for the maintenance of public order in the Region.

Military forces stationed by the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for defence shall not interfere in the local affairs of the Region. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may, when necessary, ask the Central People's Government for assistance from the garrison in the maintenance of public order and in disaster relief.

In addition to abiding by national laws, members of the garrison shall abide by the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Expenditure for the garrison shall be borne by the Central People's Government.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:06 PM   #1062
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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.
This shows how little you appreciate devolution in the UK. The process of creating the Welsh and Scottish parliaments and Northern Ireland self rule from 1997 (what a familiar year) is in effect one country, two systems rule. As for tensions about legal repression, you obviously never had a conversation fervent Irish catholic or Scottish nationalist about English lawmakers. Note that there is no separate parliament for England, causing many to complain about the limitations placed by England on the legal powers given to their respective parliaments. Thus there was a referendum on Scottish Independence in 2014 with more current tensions since the Brexit vote.

As for Malaysia and Singapore, there has been constant distrust between those nations since Singapore gained independence from Malaysia. It was the underlying reason for closure of the KTB line through Singapore. However this has not stopped both nations from allowing juxtaposed controls at Woodlands checkpoint and for the future high speed railway.

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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.
I do grasp that Hong Kong has a western style legal system. That is why I know that unlike the mainland, the laws can be created, amended and repealed as required by an effective Legco.

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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.
But this does not explain how customs and immigration officials working at WKT would be in anyway different to PLA soldiers or PRC consular staff operating in HK. For the sake of effective and efficient service, it would make logical sense for juxtaposed controls to be established at West Kowloon Terminus, albeit with sufficient and definitive checks and balances on their duties under Hong Kong law. Just as in a similar way that HK officials are allowed to work at Shenzhen Bay.

Negotiations took place, rules were established and safeguards were put in place for Shenzhen Bay to be established. Neither Hong Kong nor the PRC has suffered any detriment since the opening of that border crossing. The same process is possible with West Kowloon Terminus.

It was such negotiations and debates that created the Basic Law in the first place.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:16 PM   #1063
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This shows how little you appreciate devolution in the UK. The process of creating the Welsh and Scottish parliaments and Northern Ireland self rule from 1997 (what a familiar year) is in effect one country, two systems rule. As for tensions about legal repression, you obviously never had a conversation fervent Irish catholic or Scottish nationalist about English lawmakers. Note that there is no separate parliament for England, causing many to complain about the limitations placed by England on the legal powers given to their respective parliaments. Thus there was a referendum on Scottish Independence in 2014 with more current tensions since the Brexit vote.

As for Malaysia and Singapore, there has been constant distrust between those nations since Singapore gained independence from Malaysia. It was the underlying reason for closure of the KTB line through Singapore. However this has not stopped both nations from allowing juxtaposed controls at Woodlands checkpoint and for the future high speed railway.
All that has no relevance to how the legal systems between Hong Kong and China differ and the arrangement now is meant to keep it that way. Who cares what happens in England and Wales, or Malaysia and Singapore? They don't run on the Basic Law.

If there needs to be a joint immigration checkpoint, then it should be legally built in China.

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I do grasp that Hong Kong has a western style legal system. That is why I know that unlike the mainland, the laws can be created, amended and repealed as required by an effective Legco.
Then it sets off a slippery slope of amending laws to harmonize with China, especially on those that compromise our human rights. Any changes in such a way to the legal framework will be met with great resistance and suspicion.

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But this does not explain how customs and immigration officials working at WKT would be in anyway different to PLA soldiers or PRC consular staff operating in HK. For the sake of effective and efficient service, it would make logical sense for juxtaposed controls to be established at West Kowloon Terminus, albeit with sufficient and definitive checks and balances on their duties under Hong Kong law. Just as in a similar way that HK officials are allowed to work at Shenzhen Bay.
PRC consular staff abide by Hong Kong law. PRC agents, such as immigration officials, have no authority to enforce PRC laws in Hong Kong. I've said this so many times and yet you still don't understand this key enforcement and jurisdiction concept.

Hong Kong officials are granted special rights to operate at Shenzhen Bay under PRC law. But vice versa does not work under Hong Kong law.

One legal change may seem harmless, but the slippery slope may mean lots more to the detriment afterwards.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 03:26 PM   #1064
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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.
I am not arguing against the reasoning behind your argument, but I would not underestimate Beijing'S resolve , the South China thing is a good example. If they are willing to confront the US in the South China Sea I doubt that a few vocal critics of the central government in HK will scare them off, Legislation can easily be enacted to resolve the situation in HSR terminus. A confronational attitude will beget confrontation. , ultiimately the basic law is a piece of paper. This constant obstructionism is both unreasonable and counter productive and it comes across as such to a neutral observer.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 03:48 PM   #1065
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I am not arguing against the reasoning behind your argument, but I would not underestimate Beijing'S resolve , the South China thing is a good example. If they are willing to confront the US in the South China Sea I doubt that a few vocal critics of the central government in HK will scare them off, Legislation can easily be enacted to resolve the situation in HSR terminus. A confronational attitude will beget confrontation. , ultiimately the basic law is a piece of paper. This constant obstructionism is both unreasonable and counter productive and it comes across as such to a neutral observer.
Much as this reads like PRC propaganda (I mean no offense), I actually have to agree.

The PRC will trample over "one country, two systems" and HK/Macau sovereignty as much as they want and as much as they like, since they know nobody's going to stop them, and nobody has the right to stop them, since "one country".

Perhaps it could be sold as a reciprocal agreement, with HK allowing PRC border agents to operate at WKT subject to the PRC's maintenance of HK border agents at Shenzhen Bay. The station and track proper could still belong to HK, with only the customs checkpoint and associated administrative offices leased to PRC officials.

The Basic Law is not set in stone, and while changing it to incorporate such provisions may be unpopular and difficult to stomach, it's not like as if it's already done.

Otherwise, as an interim measure, they can just do what is done with the existing intercity services and just serve Guangzhou/Shanghai/Beijing. However, I understand that this may not be palatable to CRH long term either, since it limits what destinations CRH can serve from WKT. But it could last while they work things out.

Bottom line is, Beijing will find a way, if they really want this to go through.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 06:02 PM   #1066
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Beijing has been quiet in all this, presumably knowing if they get too vocal pushing for a solution, it will give a perception that One Country Two Systems is failing, among other examples pointing to that lately.

The CRH extension to HK actually is primarily geared towards services to Guangzhou, rather than direct services from HK to other points beyond. We won't have that many destinations to begin with unless we transfer in Guangzhou. This means keeping mainland immigration on PRC soil to be more practical than people initially think. Why most trains from HK will end in Guangzhou is another controversial topic.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 11:53 AM   #1067
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Beijing has been quiet in all this, presumably knowing if they get too vocal pushing for a solution, it will give a perception that One Country Two Systems is failing, among other examples pointing to that lately.

The CRH extension to HK actually is primarily geared towards services to Guangzhou, rather than direct services from HK to other points beyond. We won't have that many destinations to begin with unless we transfer in Guangzhou. This means keeping mainland immigration on PRC soil to be more practical than people initially think. Why most trains from HK will end in Guangzhou is another controversial topic.
CRH service to Guangzhou is just the short term goal. Without controls at West Kowloon Terminus, it would not make sense to plan anything else. With the current question mark over the implementation of immigration controls at WKT, it would make sense to limit the number of stops within Guangdong if custom controls are needed to be implemented in mainland China. I can not expect the Hong Kong government willing to pay for more and more separate customs and immigration points across China. Plus without controls at WKT, the trains would need to run bonded to their destination, so it would be almost impossible for passengers to board trains at Futian and Shenzhen North for destinations within China.

Just as Futian station has has limited services within Guangdong upon opening, it is now seeing a gradual expansion of services. It is not unreasonable to expect expanded services to Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai within a few years. The limiting factor is the implementation or not of customs controls at WKT.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 05:13 PM   #1068
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CRH service to Guangzhou is just the short term goal. Without controls at West Kowloon Terminus, it would not make sense to plan anything else. With the current question mark over the implementation of immigration controls at WKT, it would make sense to limit the number of stops within Guangdong if custom controls are needed to be implemented in mainland China. I can not expect the Hong Kong government willing to pay for more and more separate customs and immigration points across China. Plus without controls at WKT, the trains would need to run bonded to their destination, so it would be almost impossible for passengers to board trains at Futian and Shenzhen North for destinations within China.

Just as Futian station has has limited services within Guangdong upon opening, it is now seeing a gradual expansion of services. It is not unreasonable to expect expanded services to Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai within a few years. The limiting factor is the implementation or not of customs controls at WKT.
Which official source gave that opinion?
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Old February 27th, 2017, 08:09 AM   #1069
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Which official source gave that opinion?
Well the fact that West Kowloon Terminus has been designed with 6 platforms to be designated for Guangdong shuttle services and 9 platforms designated for long distance trains, it certainly indicates a desire to serve destinations beyond Guangzhou and Guangdong from the start. Also the fact that long haul services are factored into the viability reports for the Hong Kong section of the XRL.

Beyond all of the legal arguments, it makes sense that it make financial sense to have a single juxtaposed control point in Hong Kong, rather than duplicating the services at multiple cities across China. To add another city would need to see extra infrastructure being built, manned and serviced, new legal rules set to allow HK officials to work on that site and how to fund the multiple sites. All of which would delay or limit possible expansion to other destinations across mainland China.

It is obvious that the preferable way to travel would be a single non-stop journey to their destination. This is much better than travelling for 15 minutes then having to alight at Futian for customs and immigration before reboarding, breaking up the journey. Onboard controls are impossible due to the short timespan between WKT and Futian.

The disadvantage of waiting until the destination Mainland city for customs and immigration is that the service would have to remain restricted while enroute, with restrictions passengers being able to board/exit the train within mainland China, such as London-Ashford or Lille-Paris travel is not allowed on Eurostar services for the same legal rationale. A long distance train from Hong Kong to Beijing would be running close to empty near the destination after dropping off passengers at Guangzhou, Wuhan and Shijiazhuang but no one else can board due to immigration and customs issues. This is a common issue with airlines serving several domestic cities along an international service.

With a single control point at WKT, formalities can be processed before/after the service as a seamless part of the overall journey with the train then able to operate like a regular CRH service within mainland China.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 02:34 PM   #1070
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So all your thoughts are pure speculation, and we don't spend billions building railways on speculation.

The closest idea of an actual schedule was reported here : http://news.mingpao.com/pns/dailynew.../1462212480271

Not even 10 trains a day will go beyond Guangzhou out of the 190 scheduled. So are we going to mount a law change and risk damaging One Country Two Systems for a handful of trains? Just send them through mainland immigration checks in Shenzhen / Guangzhou.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 03:21 PM   #1071
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That's the "short term goal" many of us were talking about.

Do you really think CRH is going to be content running that schedule for the next 30 years? I don't think so.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 03:35 PM   #1072
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That's the "short term goal" many of us were talking about.

Do you really think CRH is going to be content running that schedule for the next 30 years? I don't think so.
By then perhaps rail would be obsolete.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:01 PM   #1073
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By then perhaps rail would be obsolete.
That's what they said 50 years ago.

Somehow, I very much doubt it.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:19 PM   #1074
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That's what they said 50 years ago.

Somehow, I very much doubt it.
Who would have thought we can communicate on the WWW 30 years ago. Change happens very quickly these days.

Add to that, once the military releases all that airspace to civilian flights, HSR will suffer a major setback.

The current proposed schedule gives little reason to justify a significant law change to accomodate for joint immigration for a handful of trains a day. Worry about it when the right time comes.

Good we didn't end up with all those zeppelin landing docks because someone thought they'd be popular 30 years down the road.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 05:39 PM   #1075
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Who would have thought we can communicate on the WWW 30 years ago. Change happens very quickly these days.

Add to that, once the military releases all that airspace to civilian flights, HSR will suffer a major setback.

The current proposed schedule gives little reason to justify a significant law change to accomodate for joint immigration for a handful of trains a day. Worry about it when the right time comes.

Good we didn't end up with all those zeppelin landing docks because someone thought they'd be popular 30 years down the road.
Mainland China and Europe have both recognized rail as the way forward compared to air travel. Otherwise, why do you think they're investing so much into rail, even though as you say it may be extinct in 30 years? Note that I mention Europe, which already has a pretty well-developed intra-Schengen flight network, but yet they're still investing in HSR. Or Southeast Asia. Or even the US, which is taking baby steps towards developing a HSR network.

Okay, maybe the current proposed schedule may justify keeping PRC agents out of HK for the short term. But then again what if CRH wants to expand service 5, 10 years down the road? We'll be having this conversation again. Or perhaps we might not, since there's a very real chance that Beijing flips the bird at the HK nationalists and just forces through a bill in the Legco to allow PRC agents to operate at WKT anyway.

Or perhaps, by then, let's say HK becomes an independent country and one country two systems gets thrown out the window. This conversation would then still need to happen, Special Administrative Region or not, and such obstructionist tendencies aren't helping. No one can really win here, so there's a need to compromise.

As mentioned earlier with all the talk about US preclearance and whatnot, this is a solved problem. It's only causing trouble because of HK nationalism and NIMBYism.

I guess you're going to repeat the same talking points no matter how much we discuss this topic, so if you refuse to even listen, I really see no point in so many of us trying to make our points heard.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 06:49 PM   #1076
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Mainland China and Europe have both recognized rail as the way forward compared to air travel. Otherwise, why do you think they're investing so much into rail, even though as you say it may be extinct in 30 years? Note that I mention Europe, which already has a pretty well-developed intra-Schengen flight network, but yet they're still investing in HSR. Or Southeast Asia. Or even the US, which is taking baby steps towards developing a HSR network.
Unlike Europe, China's heavy restrictions of its domestic airspace for military use means flying domestically would not work when a mid-size city would have tens of millions of people. Once that is relaxed, Beijing-Shanghai the biggest commercial route) would likely tilt to air travel's favour, and render many of the long distance routes we see opening lately obsolete.

Also keep in mind China's 3 key cities are much further apart than their European counterparts, so I tend to be wary of these trans-continental comparisons on the mere surface.

But this isn't a thread on HSR's viability and future, but rather whether HK needs to change its laws and allow PRC agents in for the sake of 7-8 trains out of 190?

Southeast Asia has seen pitiful developments in HSR for geopolitical reasons. It has been many years of talk and minimal progress.

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Okay, maybe the current proposed schedule may justify keeping PRC agents out of HK for the short term. But then again what if CRH wants to expand service 5, 10 years down the road? We'll be having this conversation again. Or perhaps we might not, since there's a very real chance that Beijing flips the bird at the HK nationalists and just forces through a bill in the Legco to allow PRC agents to operate at WKT anyway.
If they really wanted to do this then they would have changed the laws years ago when the shovels went into the ground and not wait until its imminent opening to stir up a political debate.

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As mentioned earlier with all the talk about US preclearance and whatnot, this is a solved problem. It's only causing trouble because of HK nationalism and NIMBYism.
This is not even a case of either. You are just pulling recent news stories as excuses. This is a legal question, and the Basic Law doesn't allow such an arrangement, and the US, Canada, or the UAE don't run on the Basic Law hence their preclearance arrangements are entirely irrelevant.

Trying to change the Basic Law which enshrines HK's identity will indeed result in a huge social backlash, fueling nationalism, but not NIMBYism. The shovels are in the ground already so the villagers that stood in the way have been cleared out long ago.

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I guess you're going to repeat the same talking points no matter how much we discuss this topic, so if you refuse to even listen, I really see no point in so many of us trying to make our points heard.
You are among the people here who don't listen and keep using irrelevant examples while ignoring what the law says. It's actually a very easy legal question, but with a not-so-easy solution TBD.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 08:52 AM   #1077
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So all your thoughts are pure speculation, and we don't spend billions building railways on speculation.

The closest idea of an actual schedule was reported here : http://news.mingpao.com/pns/dailynew.../1462212480271

Not even 10 trains a day will go beyond Guangzhou out of the 190 scheduled. So are we going to mount a law change and risk damaging One Country Two Systems for a handful of trains? Just send them through mainland immigration checks in Shenzhen / Guangzhou.
Hardly speculation when it is from the MTR's own documents. 15,000 passengers per day travelling to destinations beyond Guangzhou in the first year of operation (albeit at the originally expected 2016), expected to increase to 25,300 by 2031. Essentially around 15% of all passengers expected to travel through WKT. A single train of 1,600 passengers is just as valid as multiple shuttles with a few hundred people each.

Now the cost of hosting HK immigration and customs controls in multiple cites, such as Futian, Shenzhen North and Guangzhou South is at least double the costs of a single control point at WKT. To expand services, the costs would expand in tandem with that. That is hardly speculation, it is obvious what option is cheaper.

More than half of the platforms are designated for long distance use, thus you want make sure they are used efficiently to ensure the viability of the station.

However you can not plan for more long distance services when the circumstances for how those services would be handled. If passengers are expected to use only shuttle services to Guangzhou/Shenzhen before transferring to long-distance services for immigration and customs reasons, then it is useless to plan for direct long-distance trains from HK. The situation stays as it is currently, with only shuttle trains crossing the border.

Are any mainland CRH stations designed to handle immigration and customs? No, then significant renovations and changes may be required in the stations required to host them. That is a natural expectation and not speculation.

If controls are allowed at WKT, then it is easy to add more services to the schedule as demand allows because of the simplified process of using the the single station designed from the outset for that purpose.

Until the certainty has been established about the legal status of the immigration and control at West Kowloon Terminus is made clear, then train scheduling of either cross border shuttles or long distance trains are in doubt due to how the passengers for those services will need to be processed. So once we know for sure, planning can not progress too far in any sense.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 02:04 PM   #1078
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Hardly speculation when it is from the MTR's own documents. 15,000 passengers per day travelling to destinations beyond Guangzhou in the first year of operation (albeit at the originally expected 2016), expected to increase to 25,300 by 2031. Essentially around 15% of all passengers expected to travel through WKT. A single train of 1,600 passengers is just as valid as multiple shuttles with a few hundred people each.
You are forgetting the MTR indicated the existing thru-train service from Hung Hom will be kept, and with the travel times from West Kowloon to Guangzhou reaching upwards to an hour, it is quite clear the Guangzhou East "slower" service will still be very competitive.

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Now the cost of hosting HK immigration and customs controls in multiple cites, such as Futian, Shenzhen North and Guangzhou South is at least double the costs of a single control point at WKT. To expand services, the costs would expand in tandem with that. That is hardly speculation, it is obvious what option is cheaper.
Who says you need to have joint immigration facilities in various Chinese cities? Hong Kong immigration will be cleared in Hong Kong, while PRC immigration will be cleared in Chinese cities.

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More than half of the platforms are designated for long distance use, thus you want make sure they are used efficiently to ensure the viability of the station.
You have a source for this arrangement?

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However you can not plan for more long distance services when the circumstances for how those services would be handled. If passengers are expected to use only shuttle services to Guangzhou/Shenzhen before transferring to long-distance services for immigration and customs reasons, then it is useless to plan for direct long-distance trains from HK. The situation stays as it is currently, with only shuttle trains crossing the border.
From the schedule seen and reported so far, direct long-distance trains will be few and rare. That makes sense. Why train when you can fly to Shanghai and Beijing? That sort of distance doesn't justify taking the train. Wuhan is probably the furthest distance that can compete with flying. If that day comes when people abandon airplanes, then they can use the demand argument to push for a change in the Basic Law.

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Are any mainland CRH stations designed to handle immigration and customs? No, then significant renovations and changes may be required in the stations required to host them. That is a natural expectation and not speculation.
Saving money for the PRC is not a justification to change the Basic Law and damage One Country Two Systems.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 03:31 PM   #1079
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Unlike Europe, China's heavy restrictions of its domestic airspace for military use means flying domestically would not work when a mid-size city would have tens of millions of people. Once that is relaxed, Beijing-Shanghai the biggest commercial route) would likely tilt to air travel's favour, and render many of the long distance routes we see opening lately obsolete.

Also keep in mind China's 3 key cities are much further apart than their European counterparts, so I tend to be wary of these trans-continental comparisons on the mere surface.
This assumes that the PRC will lift those restrictions. In an era of increasing environmental concern, an argument against allowing kerosene-burning gas turbine engines to run amok in the stratosphere sounds rather compelling, especially when cyber-presence reduces the demand for immediate contact and relaxes time constraints. Not to mention avoiding the tremendous cost and land consumption of building all of the necessary airports.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 03:50 PM   #1080
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
You are forgetting the MTR indicated the existing thru-train service from Hung Hom will be kept, and with the travel times from West Kowloon to Guangzhou reaching upwards to an hour, it is quite clear the Guangzhou East "slower" service will still be very competitive.
The figures I quoted are for West Kowloon Terminus only. They are part of the Operational Viability Report for the station. Original forecast was for WKT to handle 99,000 passengers per day during 2016 (based on original completion date), with 84,000 passengers using Guangzhou Shuttle services and 15,000 long distance passengers beyond Guangzhou. 2021 has an estimate of 119,700 passengers in total with 100,800 shuttle passengers and 18,900 long haul passengers. 2031 figures were put at 160,000 passengers per day, 134,700 shuttle passengers and 25,300 long haul passengers. These are outbound figures only departing from West Kowloon Terminus with long haul services clearly defined as 'Beyond the Pearl River Delta'.

It is not related to Hung Hom and any continued services from that station. Through train passenger numbers in the report for 2016 were indicated to drop to 5,200 passengers (a -6.6% fall in numbers), with the XRL in operation.

Quote:
Who says you need to have joint immigration facilities in various Chinese cities? Hong Kong immigration will be cleared in Hong Kong, while PRC immigration will be cleared in Chinese cities.
At the moment no arrangement is yet known. Many possible combinations are being investigated and explored as you well know. Nothing can be ruled in or ruled out as the definitive outcome until the Legco deals with this issue.

Quote:
You have a source for this arrangement?
Yes, the MTR Express Rail Link website. Which states as follows

The Terminus and major facilities will be mainly underground on four main floor levels accommodating:
  • Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities
  • Departure lounges
  • Passenger arrival and departure halls
  • Underground track area with 9 long-haul platforms and 6 shuttle platforms
  • Duty-free outlets
  • Food and beverage outlets
  • Station parking and loading facilities


Plus it is on the plans for the station. Which are physically different, because of the short commuter nature of the shuttle trains and the long length of the long distance trains. So they could not be quickly or conveniently reconfigured for increased Shuttle use. There has been a deliberate independent passenger flow process for the separate shuttle and long haul trains built into the station's design.


In case you missed it, look at the first facts given in this official video about WKT. It states exactly the intended platform arrangements.


Quote:
From the schedule seen and reported so far, direct long-distance trains will be few and rare. That makes sense. Why train when you can fly to Shanghai and Beijing? That sort of distance doesn't justify taking the train. Wuhan is probably the furthest distance that can compete with flying. If that day comes when people abandon airplanes, then they can use the demand argument to push for a change in the Basic Law.
There is no defined destination for any long haul high speed service yet. Who said the only long distance services would be Beijing or Shanghai? Beijing would most likely be the longest service departing from WKT, so it would be the best example of train having to run empty near the end of it's journey due to immigration and custom constraints, thus I gave it as an example. Despite this, there is a viable market for such long distance trains departing from Shenzhen.

4 hour or less services to Chongqing, Chengdu, Guiyang, Guilin, Hainan, Xiamen, Changsha, Ganzhou and Nanchang are all possible, plus others. All are competitive with air travel for time and could prove popular with Hong Kong holiday makers and business people alike. The scheduling & reliability of the high speed train network could prove popular and see a reduction in air services from HK to the mainland on some routes.

Quote:
Saving money for the PRC is not a justification to change the Basic Law and damage One Country Two Systems.
No, it just costing Hong Kong more and more, with further delays and cost overruns, which would be delayed further until the mainland stations could be made operational to suit. Hong Kong does not just lose out in direct construction costs either. Naturally it is Hong Kong's best interest to maximise the potential of West Kowloon Terminus. It needs to make it attractive to tourist and business travellers alike, who do not want to be inconvenienced. It would be better to hop directly on a train bound for your intended destination, without having to use a intermediate shuttle service or get off the train shortly after departing HK to complete formalities. This will have an impact on the HK economy in business and tourist terms. Without juxtaposed controls there would be further deadweight to the HK Government's investment in West Kowloon Terminus, because all of the platforms for long haul trains not being utilised as designed because of the fewer long haul services, if any are served. Especially if HK pushes for all travellers to change trains at Shenzhen/Guangzhou.

It not about saving the PRC any money. It is about saving money, improving the economy and increasing the maximum possible value for Hong Kong.

Lastly, with out any legislation being put before the Legco for consideration, no one can say if it would be damaging to the Basic Law. Can you define the exact damage that you are so fearful of?

At the moment, it is "what if's" and "but's" however until the intended changes have been proposed, then no one can say what the outcome or effects will be. To say that no change is possible and no debate is even allowed to be considered is just as damaging to Hong Kong. Wait until the legislation is actually tabled before commenting on what it may or may not do.

So far 6 national laws have been placed into Annex 3 of the Basic Law and life in Hong Kong has not screeched to a halt yet. Wait until we see the full scope of what is proposed at WKT, to see if it is limited in law just to that site or if it is ambiguous to include other areas of HK, both in a physical and legal sense.

It may turn out to be a storm in a tea cup or your fears may be justified, no one can tell at this time.
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Last edited by Short; February 28th, 2017 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Full reply was not shown
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