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Old March 13th, 2017, 01:09 PM   #1101
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Old March 13th, 2017, 04:47 PM   #1102
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Please write in English in the international forum.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 05:57 PM   #1103
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Visit by Hong Kong ministers expected to iron out deadlock over express rail link joint facility
Governments of both sides have expressed desire to negotiate deal on co-location arrangements
March 13, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The discussion deadlock over a joint immigration facility at the West Kowloon terminus for the express rail could see a breakthrough on Tuesday.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung flew to Beijing on Monday to meet mainland officials for negotiations.

They had a two-hour meeting inside the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office on Monday but did not take questions after the meeting.

Before discussions, Cheung said in Beijing: “I hope through further discussions, we will soon have arrangements that both sides find suitable and feasible.”

Critics have expressed concern that the proposed co-location would contravene Article 18 of the Basic Law, which stated that national or mainland laws should not be applied in the city. The only exception was if such laws were listed in Annex III of the min-constitution.

The Hong Kong government said earlier that the plan for a joint immigration facility at the West Kowloon Terminus for the HK$84.4 billion rail link would be presented to the public before the end of the current administration’s term in June.

Officials said that without a joint checkpoint, the 48-minute journey on the new line between Hong Kong and Guangzhou would take at least another 30 minutes, effectively defeating the purpose of the rail.

Such a co-location agreement was in fact signed about a decade ago for Hong Kong immigration officers to operate at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point.

Cheung said on Monday that he was aware some suggestions had been floated by the public, but he still needed to review them.

Cheung and Yuen are expected to meet the press to offer an update on Tuesday on the discussions.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 05:59 PM   #1104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
democracy at its finest.
Nothing to do with democracy. The Basic Law was drafted and implemented without a referendum for the citizens to decide Hong Kong's fate. It was a behind the scenes handshake between London and Beijing. Hardly democratic at all.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 05:30 PM   #1105
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Old March 22nd, 2017, 03:23 AM   #1106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
Boy, do I ever feel like a stupid American reading through this thread. Here I was, thinking Shenzhen and Hong Kong are, what, ~20km apart? Should be a simple matter to have passport checks prior to boarding in either direction; build a short high-speed line; job done.

Instead, I walk into the room hearing conversations about no less than national sovereignty. Oi vey.

Suffice to say, knowing that national sovereignty is a big PRC-HK issue, I'd not be surprised if this connection takes a lot longer to bring in to service due to legal reasons, even if the line is physically ready very soon.
From the point of view as a passenger, to use the section of the railway between Shenzhen and Hong Kong for shuttle services will be stupid.

This line will not only serve the two cities.
It was constructed as Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed Railway. It is now a part of Beijing-Hong Kong High-speed Railway. It connects to the major network of Chinese High-speed Railway System.

The simplest way to get services running will be let all the trains from all over the country stop at Shenzhen North Station, and everyone off. Then everyone go through Mainland Chinese Border Control, and wait for the next shuttle train to Hong Kong West Kowloon Station. They board the train again, then get off the train and go through the border again.

But apparently this is the least convenient way for passengers who wants to go to/leave Hong Kong by train.

There are international agreements running sufficiently, such as UK-France-Belgium mode for Eurostar. And the argument in Hong Kong is a bit dramatic to me.

Last edited by bearb; March 22nd, 2017 at 03:29 AM.
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Old March 22nd, 2017, 12:19 PM   #1107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Nothing to do with democracy. The Basic Law was drafted and implemented without a referendum for the citizens to decide Hong Kong's fate. It was a behind the scenes handshake between London and Beijing. Hardly democratic at all.
The political system in HK like any other system around the world is there to reinforce the status quo, to protect powerful existing interests and their various agendas.

Every once in a while a populist based movement comes along to give the status quo a shake. The resulting fallout is called reform until self interests entrench themselves in power. Public participation in the political process is encouraged but not to the extend that they get to exercise the levers of real power.

The political arena in the west is more along the lines of theater, a political soap opera that serves as media fodder for the public while real decisions are made elsewhere.

The basic law is fine in principle the issues arise when you try to apply it in reality where each self interest group will define it in a wway that best serves their interests.
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Old March 24th, 2017, 06:05 PM   #1108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearb View Post
There are international agreements running sufficiently, such as UK-France-Belgium mode for Eurostar. And the argument in Hong Kong is a bit dramatic to me.
Even with Brexit, those countries are on much better terms with each other than Hong Kong with China these days.
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Old April 25th, 2017, 03:22 PM   #1109
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Shenzhen model for joint checkpoint at cross-border railway won’t work in Hong Kong, minister says
But mainland law enforcers will be able to exercise mainland laws in designated areas of West Kowloon station
April 15, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The arrangement allowing mainland Chinese law enforcers to work at the cross-border express train terminus in Kowloon when it opens next year will not be a direct copy of the joint checkpoints at Shenzhen Bay, Hong Kong’s transport minister said on Saturday.

But Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the officers would be able to exercise mainland laws within designated areas at the station, although he did not specify the extent of their powers.

The Beijing and Hong Kong governments have still not reached a deal on checkpoint arrangements for the railway, which is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2018.

Both sides say a joint checkpoint is necessary as having counters on each side of the border would lengthen travel times and defeat the purpose of a high-speed railway. Without a joint checkpoint the 48-minute journey time to Guangzhou on the new line would take at least 30 minutes longer.

But critics warn that allowing mainland officers to exercise immigration controls and security checks will breach the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, which expressly forbids the exercise of mainland laws in Hong Kong.

“The question we are handling [with mainland authorities] is how the [mainland officers’] exercise of mainland laws in Hong Kong can comply with the spirit of ‘one country, two systems’ and the Basic Law,” Cheung said in a radio programme.

More : http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/p...r-railway-wont
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Old May 9th, 2017, 09:34 PM   #1110
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Old May 15th, 2017, 06:25 PM   #1111
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Hong Kong-mainland rail link terminus ‘a total waste’ without a joint checkpoint, says ex-justice minister
Basic Law Committee vice-chairman Elsie Leung Oi-sie says the whole design of the West Kowloon terminus was based on the checkpoint
May 14, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Basic Law Committee vice-chairwoman Elsie Leung Oi-sie said the West Kowloon terminus of the HK$84.4 billion cross-border rail link would have to be torn down and redesigned if it did not include joint checkpoint control.

Leung, also Hong Kong’s former justice minister, said the terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link had been specifically designed to accommodate the joint checkpoint.

“[The project] had been approved for a long time and the West Kowloon terminus has also been built based on this concept,” she said during an interview with Commercial Radio on Sunday.

“So, if we don’t have joint checkpoint arrangements at West Kowloon, [the project] would be a total waste. We may have to bomb it and rebuild another one or re-plan the land use. How could you explain to the public the some HK$80 billion [invested in the rail]?”

Beijing and Hong Kong still have not reached a deal on checkpoint arrangements for the high-speed rail, which is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2018. The Hong Kong government has said it hopes to announce a decision by the end of June, when the current administration’s term ends.

Both sides have said a joint checkpoint is necessary because having counters on each side of the border would lengthen travel times and defeat the purpose of a high-speed railway.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 12:23 PM   #1112
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A nice balanced article over the joint-immigration facility debate at West Kowloon Terminus

Quote:
How Hong Kong can gain from joint immigration checks on express rail link
Tony Kwok says a joint customs facility would mean faster and easier access to key mainland cities, benefiting not only commuters but also Hong Kong’s economic future, in view of mega projects like the belt and road and Greater Bay Area

South China Morning Post
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 May, 2017, 2:48pm

Author: Tony Kwok

INSIGHT & OPINION



One thing we can be certain of is that, when the Hong Kong government releases proposals for a joint immigration checkpoint for the cross-border express rail, opposition legislators will go all out to block it.

The benefits of the Guangzhou-Hong Kong express rail link are obvious. Getting from Hong Kong to the nearest express rail terminus in Shenzhen will take less than 15 minutes, with a maximum frequency of one train every three minutes. Over 100,000 people are expected to travel on the line every day, so imagine the total time saved. It will also give Hong Kong direct access to mainland cities through the 20,000km national high-speed rail network, without the need to change trains. This will make it more convenient for mainland citizens to travel to Hong Kong, thus facilitating tourism.

It is clear that Hong Kong needs closer integration with the mainland for future economic prosperity. The express rail project is particularly timely, given the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area project, as it puts Hong Kong within close reach of key mainland cities. The strategic significance and potential economic benefit are enormous, so really there is no reason to object to the setting up of a joint immigration checkpoint so as to maximise its efficiency.

Actually, the opposition can only come up with two arguments, both weak. First, they say setting aside a small area for the mainland immigration checkpoint is akin to giving up Hong Kong’s sovereignty. Second, they say mainland law enforcement should not be allowed to exercise its power in Hong Kong.

Article 7 of the Basic Law states: “The land and natural resources with the Hong Kong SAR shall be state property”. The city government is only responsible for management of the land. Hence, it would be legitimate for the central government, if need be, to set aside an area for use by mainland customs, just as some of our land is currently being used by the PLA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As for law enforcement agencies exercising their function in another jurisdiction, there are several international examples, especially on joint immigration checkpoints: such as Canada/US; Ireland/US; UK/France and UK/Belgium.

A joint checkpoint has been in existence for years in Shenzhen Bay, with operating legislation going through the Legislative Council without objection. To further ease the mind of sceptics, I propose that mainland customs and immigration officials stationed at the checkpoint should only be allowed to exercise their power within the restricted area – and on customs and immigration law, not any other mainland criminal law – and that their movements be restricted in the way the PLA garrison’s is.

The best way to quieten the opposition is through the pressure of public opinion. A recent survey carried out by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong found 63 per cent public support for a joint checkpoint. The support rate would have been much higher if the survey had covered regular cross-border commuters.

Once it announces its proposals for express rail immigration and customs co-location, I suggest the city government carry out a survey of commuters at the Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau and Shenzhen Bay border crossings, asking whether they support a joint checkpoint.

I believe public support will be overwhelming and therefore deny the opposition any excuse to raise objections.

Joint customs facilities will greatly enhance the efficiency of the immigration procedure and save everyone a lot of time.

Tony Kwok is an honorary fellow and adjunct professor at HKU SPACE and council member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macau Studies

Original Article
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Old May 18th, 2017, 02:30 AM   #1113
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Sure - if balanced to you means arguing entirely for one side of the debate and belittling genuine concerns.
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Old May 26th, 2017, 10:22 PM   #1114
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Don’t view joint checkpoint at cross-border railway negatively, Hong Kong’s justice minister tells public
Rimsky Yuen says allowing mainland officers to operate in city will still comply with ‘one country, two systems’ formula
May 25, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung has urged people not to hold negative views on a joint checkpoint arrangement at the cross-border railway that will allow officials from mainland China to exercise immigration controls and security checks.

He stressed the law enforcement model would comply with the city’s “one country, two systems” governing system.

But he declined to disclose further details of the proposal, which is expected to be tabled to the Legislative Council for approval next month.

The Hong Kong government has been working with the mainland authorities to resolve the law enforcement arrangement for a joint immigration facility at the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, which will start operating late next year.

Pan-democratic legislators claim that allowing mainland officers to enforce national laws on Hong Kong soil would violate the Basic Law, the mini-constitution that enshrines the city’s freedoms.

“Whether it’s the central government officials or the Hong Kong officials, we have always worked towards the consensus that the joint immigration checkpoint will be operated in accordance with the Basic Law and one country, two systems,” Yuen said during a trip to London.

“It is important to understand the nature of a joint checkpoint and why we do that, and not to view the matter negatively.”

The Post reported earlier this week that mainland officers would be allowed to fully enforce national laws in the immigration hall and on express trains in Hong Kong, according to lawmaker and National People’s Congress deputy Michael Tien Puk-sun, who said he had learnt of the latest development from his sources.

Tien said Beijing and Hong Kong had reached an agreement that a mainland restricted zone would be created in the West Kowloon terminus, which would include part of the hall and be extended to cover the rail tracks from the Hong Kong border to the terminus.

Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said he opposed any arrangement that would grant mainland officers enforcement powers in Hong Kong.

More : http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/p...way-negatively
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 10:10 AM   #1115
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Longer wait ahead for solution to dispute over high-speed rail linking Hong Kong to Guangzhou
Transport chief says proposal on contentious joint immigration facility may not be ready before new government takes over
June 2, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

With only 28 days to go before its term ends, the outgoing Hong Kong administration has failed to come up with a solution to the dispute over whether mainland immigration officers should be allowed to operate on the Hong Kong side for the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou.

Backtracking on an earlier pledge, transport minister Anthony Cheung Bing-leung on Friday admitted that he could no longer guarantee a workable plan on the joint immigration facility at the West Kowloon terminus before the new government took over on July 1.

“Now I can’t say [I will deliver a proposal this month] because we are still in discussion with the mainland authorities,” he said.

Cheung and justice chief Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung had earlier made that promise, with undersecretary for transport and housing Yau Shing-mu saying the contentious issue, involving the enforcement of mainland laws on Hong Kong soil, should not be left to the next government to fix.

Time is running out for the government to iron out all the legal issues concerning the co-location arrangement as the HK$84.4 billion Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link is expected to launch in the third quarter of next year.
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Old June 12th, 2017, 12:01 PM   #1116
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Express rail link joint checkpoint at West Kowloon is the efficient choice for travellers
Bernard Chan says fears over mainland officials exercising their powers at a joint checkpoint are exaggerated, as all such a set-up will bring is fast and convenient travel for cross-border passengers
June 8, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The express railway linking West Kowloon with Shenzhen and Guangzhou has hit various problems since construction began in 2010. These include the eviction of residents from rural sites, technical difficulties and cost overruns.

The project undoubtedly brings major potential benefits. For example, getting to Guangdong and a range of adjoining regions beyond the Pearl River Delta will become far easier and quicker, opening up new economic and lifestyle options for Hong Kong people.

However, one pressing problem remains: the location of the mainland immigration and other border control facilities. With Hong Kong’s current administration now in its final weeks, this will be a top priority for Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor after she is sworn in as chief executive on July 1.

One option – favoured by the government – is setting up mainland as well as Hong Kong checkpoints at the rail link’s West Kowloon terminus. Critics are strongly opposed. Obviously, there are complicated legal aspects. However, officials are confident that the legal technicalities can be resolved.

The basic fear of the opponents of checkpoint co-location relates to the principle of mainland officers exercising their powers at the terminus. Critics say this sets a dangerous precedent that could infringe upon local jurisdiction. The implication is that this could threaten the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people.

I think the main problem here is one of perception. Co-location is easily the most practical way for travellers to clear boundary checks on the new system. The principle is already in use here. When you enter Hong Kong at the Shenzhen Bay checkpoint, you are still physically on the mainland even after passing through Hong Kong immigration and customs.

More : http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-...loon-efficient
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Old June 17th, 2017, 08:37 AM   #1117
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 04:33 AM   #1118
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Hong Kong must reach deal this year on operating cross-border railway, MTR boss warns[LIST=1]
Frederick Ma expresses confidence in new transport chief but says it will be a joke if plan for a joint checkpoint in West Kowloon falls through
June 22, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

An operating agreement for the HK$84.4 billion high-speed railway line between Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou must be finalised this year to reduce uncertainty, the chairman of the MTR Corp has told the government.

Frederick Ma Si-hang also said it would be a “joke” if the controversial co-location arrangement – allowing passengers to clear mainland China’s customs and immigration in the city – eventually fell through as the new administration took over.

He admitted that delays meant a deal could not be signed with the current government, whose term ends on June 30. But pressure is building as the line is due to open in the third quarter of next year.

A deal “must” be finalised by the end of this year, Ma emphasised.

“There’s still a few months, but the faster the better because we’re talking about 800 to 1,000 employees manning [West Kowloon] station,” he said.
“We need to recruit people and provide relevant training. Training has actually begun for train drivers, but we still need a lot more operational staff.”

But he did not expect issues to arise from the new government, giving his vote of confidence to incoming transport and housing chief Frank Chan Fan.
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Old July 8th, 2017, 03:45 AM   #1119
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'Difficult' co-location talks heat up summer
July 7, 2017
The Standard Excerpt

The Express Rail Link's co-location arrangement proposal will be presented to the public for discussion this summer, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.

Since the link is scheduled to be put to use in the third quarter of next year, the arrangement regarding co-location should be ready before summer next year, Lam told a media gathering yesterday.

"If I could choose not to launch the co-location discussion, I will definitely delay it," Lam said.

"But the express rail cannot lie there idle, so we have to overcome the hard parts since there are no other choices."

She said she was not worried about the discussions harming her public approval.

"The public approval rate has always been insignificant for me, as things that should be done must be done, just that some from the legal sector affirmed that co-location must be a breach of the Basic Law."

Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei said last month that the co-location arrangement would "definitely" follow the model in the border checkpoint of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor.

Lam also made suggestions on improving communications with the Legislative Council, as she believes the notice period for any oral questions in Legco should be shortened.
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Old July 8th, 2017, 09:47 AM   #1120
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Will there be any loop tracks for the terminal?
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