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Old July 27th, 2017, 05:28 AM   #1141
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In Chinese, but better than the SCMP chart:
(from Daily Sunshine NewsPaper 晶报)
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Old July 27th, 2017, 01:31 PM   #1142
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
There were questions on whether Facebook would also be blocked in that zone.
That is not possible or feasible. As long as you have a mobile signal, you will be connected to Hong Kong servers. Likewise the mobile signals can not be jammed, because of detriment to regular phone calls and radio signals.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 01:52 PM   #1143
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The schema says "Mainland departure clearance". So HK does not deny entry, it's the mainland that prevents exit. The other nice thing is "passengers must abide by mainland laws within that zone", which means the death penalty applies in this zone.
This is still part of the debate. While Mainland laws still apply, it may still be treated like diplomatic post in Hong Kong, which are leased to other sovereign nations. There may be a offence but the offender would be arrested and prosecuted by Hong Kong authorities.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #1144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Short View Post
That is not possible or feasible. As long as you have a mobile signal, you will be connected to Hong Kong servers. Likewise the mobile signals can not be jammed, because of detriment to regular phone calls and radio signals.
The entire stretch is built underground, which means the existing infrastructure above-ground won't work. They can easily install reception in the tunnels to connect to mainland networks instead to execute the firewall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Short View Post
This is still part of the debate. While Mainland laws still apply, it may still be treated like diplomatic post in Hong Kong, which are leased to other sovereign nations. There may be a offence but the offender would be arrested and prosecuted by Hong Kong authorities.
Incorrect. The zone will be under mainland immigration and civil jurisdiction. Arrests and enforcement will be by mainland authorities in accordance with PRC law. Hong Kong law enforcement has no authority in there. It doesn't make any sense Hong Kong police can arrest people for violating PRC laws.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 03:27 PM   #1145
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The debate is pretty pointless. People should not take the train if they fear being arrested by the Chinese authority.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 07:28 PM   #1146
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The debate is pretty pointless. People should not take the train if they fear being arrested by the Chinese authority.
I believe the debate is also around what if mainland officers step out of their zone to conduct extrajudicial operations and threaten the safety and security of HKers who want to stay in HK and have no intention of going to China at all.

Arguably one way about it would be to post HK police officers on the HK side, with loaded firearms and instructions to shoot any Chinese officers that step out of the Chinese zone in official uniform or something.

But perhaps that would cause an international incident, and/or give Beijing a casus belli to give the finger to "one country two systems" and fully assimilate Hong Kong. Which, I believe, is what many HKers do not want.
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Old July 28th, 2017, 07:13 AM   #1147
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Originally Posted by luacstjh98 View Post
I believe the debate is also around what if mainland officers step out of their zone to conduct extrajudicial operations and threaten the safety and security of HKers who want to stay in HK and have no intention of going to China at all.

Arguably one way about it would be to post HK police officers on the HK side, with loaded firearms and instructions to shoot any Chinese officers that step out of the Chinese zone in official uniform or something.

But perhaps that would cause an international incident, and/or give Beijing a casus belli to give the finger to "one country two systems" and fully assimilate Hong Kong. Which, I believe, is what many HKers do not want.
not sure to take this comment seriously or not
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Old July 28th, 2017, 01:18 PM   #1148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luacstjh98 View Post

Arguably one way about it would be to post HK police officers on the HK side, with loaded firearms and instructions to shoot any Chinese officers that step out of the Chinese zone in official uniform or something.
Great. We can all now imagine HK police officers' glorious reaction:




Quote:
But perhaps that would cause an international incident, and/or give Beijing a casus belli to give the finger to "one country two systems" and fully assimilate Hong Kong. Which, I believe, is what many HKers do not want.
Why would it be an "international incident"? As far as we know HK is part of China, that's what "One Country" means.
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Old July 29th, 2017, 04:55 AM   #1149
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Cross-border railway will help Hong Kong in long-term, transport chief says, after drop in projected returns
Minister defends project as a fourth legal challenge is mounted claiming joint checkpoint in the city breaches the Basic Law
July 28, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong’s transport chief has defended the fall in projected economic returns of the cross-border railway project, which is facing its fourth court challenge.

Critics of the express train line say an arrangement to give mainland China jurisdiction over part of the station at West Kowloon is unconstitutional.

Minister Frank Chan Fan urged the public to consider the long-term benefits when viewing the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

“The economic value of a large-scale cross-border infrastructure project should not be gauged by today’s estimates but the situation 10, 20 or even 30 years later,” he said.

He was responding to media reports on Thursday that the government had scaled down the economic internal rate of return, calculated based on the cost of the railway, from 6 per cent to 4 per cent.

Authorities also lowered their prediction of business travellers who would use the service – to 23 per cent of all passengers, down from the 36 per cent projected in 2009.

Having a joint immigration checkpoint means that mainland officials will enjoy almost full jurisdiction in a quarter of the 105,000 square-metre complex leased to the mainland. Opponents argue that would be an encroachment of the city’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law.

Citing figures from the Transport and Housing Bureau, media reports also suggested on Thursday that the latest projections showed the number of Hongkongers as a whole using the train would be lower than originally expected.

The government expects 58.4 per cent of daily passengers – about 63,800 commuters – to be Hong Kong residents, down from about 70 per cent in the 2009 forecast. Passengers not living in Hong Kong, however, would surge from about 30,000 a day to more than 45,000, according to the official projections.

“The numbers were actually presented to the Legislative Council back in 2015; they’re not new,” Chan said.

He added the figures and composition of the passengers could vary. But citing the opening of the MTR railway service in the city nearly 40 years ago, he said many opposed it at first but now embraced it.

The latest court challenge against the joint checkpoint was mounted on Friday by a retired photojournalist, who argued it breached the Basic Law.

In his writ, Cheung Tak-wing asked the High Court for an order to stop the Hong Kong government from reaching out to Beijing, to avoid the issue getting out of the hands of local courts.

Legal experts previously told the Post that any judicial challenges against the project would face an uphill battle as matters would ultimately involve a decision from Beijing, thereby depriving the city’s top court of its final say.
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Old July 30th, 2017, 01:18 PM   #1150
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July 28, 2017
The law is not a matter of convenience
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt

What do tyrants and other enemies of liberty do when they come across a law that threatens to stop them getting their way? First, they start bleating over “unnecessary legal obstacles”. Then they emphasise the convenience of overlooking “legal technicalities” and when it all gets to be a bit much they simply interpret the law to meet their requirements.

Shockingly, all of this is on display as the government moves to create a so-called co-location arrangement for Chinese officials to operate mainland jurisdiction over the new high-speed rail terminus in West Kowloon.

Carrie Lam, the chief executive, is careful to stress that the plan, which drives a coach and horses through Article 18 of the Basic Law, has nothing to do with mere “convenience” but is a perfectly legal way of dealing with a logistical problem of immigration and customs control for a train service linking Hong Kong to the mainland.

She says this safe in the knowledge that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress will be most obliging when asked to pronounce on the legality of ignoring Basic Law provisions specifically stating that “national laws will not be applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” except in cases that emphatically do not include this one.

Even if things get too hot, as this proposal faces stiff opposition, the government can always rush off to the Standing Committee to obtain another of its famous “reinterpretations” of the Basic Law. The grey men in Beijing will have no hesitation in declaring that mainland officials have the right to operate in the SAR regardless of the clear constitutional prohibition on doing so.

Ah ha, say the apologists for this proposal, but this terminal will no longer be part of the SAR’s territory as, under powers given to the government via Article 20 of the Basic Law, it can simply lease this space to the mainland.

There were alternatives, including the obvious one of using Article 20 to allow mainland officials to operate in the terminus but this clearly involves more legal difficulties than simply turning the whole area over to the mainland.

Instead, the government (almost certainly under “guidance” from Beijing) has come up with a more draconian solution as it means the application of not only mainland immigration and customs laws in Hong Kong but all other laws, such as those dealing with subversion that could be used to prevent, for example, passengers, accessing material that is banned across the border.

This casual tossing aside of a crucial piece of Hong Kong’s landmass is even more worrying because it suggests that other parts of the territory could similarly be “given away” if pragmatic considerations required this to happen. Indeed, some of the Beijing flag wavers are already proposing this.

More : http://www.ejinsight.com/20170728-th...f-convenience/
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Old August 1st, 2017, 03:54 PM   #1151
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Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
July 28, 2017
Pan-democrats form group to campaign against co-location plans

A concern group formed by pan-democrats said it is drafting a document to oppose the government’s co-location arrangement for the Express Rail Link.

Legislator Tanya Chan, one of the conveners, said the group will be officially launched next week, news website hk01.com reports.

Chan said the group will hold online media campaigns and face-to-face meetings with the public to explain why the government’s proposals are against the interests of Hongkongers.

Apart from Chan, members of the group include fellow lawmakers Claudia Mo, Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, Siu Ka-chun, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, as well as former legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee and Edward Yiu Chung-yim, who was recently disqualified for invalid oath-taking.

Mo said they must respond to the government’s brainwashing campaign, noting that it deliberately rolled out the co-location arrangement while the Legislative Council was in recess.

Hongkongers must understand that they will lose their freedom by agreeing to the co-location proposals, which seek to provide convenience to mainland authorities at the expense of the “one country, two systems” principle, Mo said.

Chu was quoted as saying by Apple Daily that it is important for the public to know that they have a choice, even if the government is saying the opposite.

Earlier this week, Maria Tam Wai-chu, a local deputy to the National People’s Congress, said the government’s co-location arrangement is legally sound as it is backed by Articles 118 and 119 of the Basic Law.

Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said Tam’s references were far-fetched and irrelevant. He argued that if the two articles can be used to support the co-location plans from a legal standpoint, any article in the Basic Law can be deployed to allow Beijing’s direct intervention in Hong Kong affairs.

Leong stressed that the essence of the Basic Law is that the Chinese national law should not be carried out in Hong Kong territory.

Assigning a section of the West Kowloon terminus of the rail link out of Hong Kong’s jurisdiction is a blatant violation of the Basic Law, he said.
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 03:20 PM   #1152
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Hong Kong gets more power under joint checkpoint plan, not less, legal scholar argues
Basic Law Committee member Albert Chen’s argument on ‘co-location’ adds to debate on true intent of Article 20 of the Basic Law
July 31, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

An expert on Hong Kong *constitutional law argued *on Monday that a contentious plan to have a joint checkpoint with the mainland for the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou would actually grant the city more power instead of undermining its authority.

Basic Law Committee *member Albert Chen Hung-yee said the city’s high degree of *autonomy would be reflected by the “co-location” arrangement, which opposition lawmakers and other critics are nervous about because it would allow national laws to be enforced on Hong Kong soil.

The plan is to lease a quarter of the West Kowloon terminus to mainland authorities as a designated port area where their laws will apply. This can be done by seeking authorisation from the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) under Article 20 of the city’s mini-constitution, which stipulates that Beijing can grant Hong Kong power it does not already have.

Chen, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, argued that it would be to the city’s benefit to be given the authority to enact a new law to facilitate operations at the joint checkpoint.

“Hong Kong still has the freedom to decide whether it will use the power given to it by the NPCSC,” he said.

The current arrangement was consistent with the legislative *intent of Article 20, he added.

However, another legal expert, Johannes Chan Man-mun, challenged the legal basis of the plan as he accused the government of “twisting” a constitutional provision for a purpose it was not *intended to serve.

“What exactly is the additional power that the NPCSC has to grant this time [by invoking Article 20]?” the former HKU law dean said. “It is the power of the Hong Kong Special Administrative *Region to relinquish its autonomy in relation to the part of the area to be designated as within the jurisdiction of the mainland. How could that be additional power – a power to give up power?”

More : http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/p...ong-more-power
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Old August 5th, 2017, 06:36 PM   #1153
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Transport and justice chiefs strike out at criticisms of plan to put Chinese officials in Hong Kong’s high-speed rail terminus
One of biggest fears is plan to enforce mainland laws in parts of station would set precedent and pave way for more such projects but justice secretary Rimsky Yuen argued opponents have put forward no other concrete solutions
August 5, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong’s top officials were out in force again on Saturday to *extinguish concerns over a controversial proposal to allow *mainland officers operate inside the terminus of a cross-border railway as debate intensified on whether another public consultation was needed.

Transport minister Frank Chan Fan insisted the government has been listening to different views, while Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung cast doubts on the effectiveness of another public engagement exercise.

Hitting back at criticism that the authorities were trying to bulldoze through a joint-border clearance facility at West Kowloon station, Chan said such a proposal had been put forward years ago.

“I have looked into the past records, and the term ‘co-location’ has been mentioned many times. For example, from 2013 to 2014, there were four inquiries by then-legislators,” he said on Saturday.

The transport chief reiterated the administration had adhered to internal guidelines throughout the process of gathering views from the community.

To further quash concerns, Chan is now inviting the Civic Party’s Tanya Chan, one of the initiators of the co-location concern group, for a dialogue.

Tanya Chan welcomed the move but insisted such talks could not replace a proper consultation.

“We still do not see an alternative proposal being laid out ... It seems the public must accept what is on the table, whether they like it or not,” she said.

The group – a coalition of around 100 democrat politicians, academics and student unions – was formed on Wednesday with the aim of collecting 300,000 *signatures to derail the proposal.

Meanwhile, justice chief Yuen questioned whether views collected from a new consultation would be much different from those already received.

He added the concern group had not made any concrete suggestions. One of the opponents’ biggest fears is the plan to enforce mainland laws in parts of the *station would set a precedent and pave the way for more of these projects in the future.

Executive councillor Ronny Tong Ka-wah suggested a clause be added in the resolution by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to guarantee the plan would be “once and for all”.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 05:53 PM   #1154
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The Standard Excerpt
Carrie Lam strikes positive tone on co-location
Aug 7, 2017

The Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said today that she is confident that the community will eventually welcome the immigration co-location arrangement at West Kowloon Terminus, after two to three months of lobbying.

She was speaking in Beijing during a meeting with Lu Dongfu, the general manager of China Railway Corporation – the builder of the country's high-speed rail network.

The government has proposed to allow mainland law enforcement agencies to carry out national laws at certain area of West Kowloon terminus, but critics say the move is tantamount to ceding land to the mainland.

Lam said only co-location arrangement in West Kowloon can fully unravel the economic and social benefit of the high-speed rail link.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 04:00 PM   #1155
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Lam rejects idea to limit power of China’s officers at joint checkpoint in Hong Kong, or defer launch for consultation
Meanwhile a Basic Law Committee member cites national security as reason to fully empower mainland authorities in zone
August 9, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Wednesday rejected suggestions to limit the power of mainland officers operating under the controversial joint checkpoint plans for the cross-border express rail link terminus.

She also said she would not defer the launch of the project to allow time for more consultations.

Lam made the remarks as she concluded her four-day visit to Beijing, during which she met officials from China Railway. According to Lam, the company would be involved in setting up operational details with Hong Kong for the HK$84.4 billion rail link to Guangzhou.

Last month the government announced the joint checkpoint plan in which national laws would be applied in a section of the West Kowloon terminus that would be leased to the mainland. The rail link is scheduled to open in the third quarter of next year.

Under the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the city cannot lease land in such a manner, so it plans to seek permission from the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s top lawmaking body.

Despite fears from critics that the plan would set a bad precedent and compromise the “one country, two systems” principle, Lam dismissed ideas to limit the power of mainland officers to enforce laws only related to immigration, customs and quarantine in the terminus.

More : http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/p...officers-joint
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Old August 11th, 2017, 04:24 PM   #1156
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Express rail HK section 94 percent completed



According to Mass Transit Railway Corporation, the construction of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail (XRL) Link is about 94 percent complete. It's expected to be put into use in late 2018.
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Old August 23rd, 2017, 06:15 PM   #1157
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Aug 17, 2017
Express railway: Public interest announcement or political ad?
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt

It costs a lot of money to buy TV and radio air time for political ads in the US. That’s why politicians and political parties start to raise funds well ahead of elections. The US government, regardless of which party is in power, does not have the right to order TV and radio stations to run political ads for free. Donald Trump’s Republican Party now controls the White House and both houses of Congress. But it has no power to force TV and radio stations, whether local ones or the national networks to air free political ads to benefit the ruling party.

Hong Kong has political parties of varying ideologies but it doesn’t have a party system. Instead, it has an executive-led government headed by an undemocratically elected chief executive who is not allowed to belong to a political party. The bureaucracy takes orders from the chief executive and the bureau heads he or she appoints.

Yet in Hong Kong the government has the power to order TV and radio stations to run ads, including during prime time, for free. This power is written into the licenses the government issues to the electronic media. The ads TV and radio stations are forced to broadcast are called announcements of public interest or APIs. Originally, these APIs were intended solely to raise public awareness of such things as littering, landslides, and proper motorist and pedestrian rules to avoid accidents. That’s fine although in my opinion the government should still pay commercial TV and radio stations to broadcast such messages because airtime is a valuable commodity. Or at least make airing APIs voluntary as in some countries.

But in recent years the government has swayed from the original intent of APIs. A perfect example are the APIs that have been flooding the airwaves recently about the express railway that links Hong Kong with the mainland’s high-speed railway network. Aside from promoting the benefits of linking our express railway terminus at West Kowloon to key mainland cities, one API also touts the benefits of having joint immigration control at the terminus. That smacks of a political ad.

As we all know, a huge controversy is bubbling over the government’s proposal to lease parts of the West Kowloon terminus for joint immigration clearance. Officials insist the full spectrum of mainland law must apply on Hong Kong soil in the leased areas for security reasons and to reap the full benefits of the railway. The opposition counters that the Basic Law prohibits mainland laws being enforced here. Opponents of joint immigration also fear mainland officials could abduct or arrest Hongkongers at West Kowloon. The two sides are locked in a battle to win over public opinion. Indeed, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s administration has admitted a public opinion war is under way.

If both sides are fighting a public opinion war on a political issue, it makes the government’s express railway API a political ad, not an announcement of public interest. It is using the airwaves for free to fight a political battle. Under Hong Kong’s rules for political ads, the opposition can’t even buy airtime to counter the government’s API. We, therefore, have a situation where commercial TV and radio stations are forced to air the government’s viewpoint for free but are not allowed to air the other side of the story even if the opposition is willing to buy airtime.

Let me make clear I am all for the express railway. The through-train from Hung Hom to Guangzhou is slow and prone to delays. I was so frustrated once by a delay of well over one hour that I emailed MTR chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang to complain. The Lo Wu crossing involves riding the perennially packed East Rail and long immigration lines on the mainland side. My view is if you choose to travel to the mainland, it makes no difference if you go through two separate border checkpoints at Lo Wu or other crossing or a joint checkpoint at West Kowloon. If the mainland authorities want to nab you for any reason they can easily do so once you are physically on the mainland.

Former Hong Kong University law dean Johannes Chan Man-mun’s claim that doing southbound immigration clearance on board trains in Shenzhen will take no more than 15 minutes shows how clueless he is. I don’t know how often he travels to the mainland, if he even does, or if he is banned from doing so. But surely he knows, or should know, not all express railway passengers will be Hongkongers with electronic thumb-reading home return permits. Passengers will include foreigners travelling on passports and mainlanders with the country’s travel documents.

I travel on a US passport that requires a China visa, as do most other foreign passports. I can say from personal experience it can take well over 30 minutes to clear mainland immigration at Lo Wu if there is a tour group or even about 15 people using passports lining up in front of you. Mainland immigration officials are meticulous in checking passport photos, visas, and entry/exit forms which foreign passport holders must fill. Short-haul express trains can seat 579 passengers. From personal experience, completing immigration procedures in 15 minutes is impossible unless there are many dozens of Hong Kong and mainland immigration officials on board each train with some checking passports and others thumb-reading home return permits.

But if the government wants to promote the benefits of the express railway in a public opinion war, it should pay for the privilege of using electronic media airtime. Or it should allow free airtime for the opposition, too. If that is not possible, then the government should end its API on the express railway. Masking a political ad as an API is being dishonest with the public.

More : http://www.ejinsight.com/20170817-ex...-political-ad/
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Old August 24th, 2017, 03:06 AM   #1158
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If the government has to constantly force the message 'this is good' down HKers throats, then the chances are that they are also aware that it's not in HK's best interests.
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Old August 24th, 2017, 07:46 AM   #1159
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If the government has to constantly force the message 'this is good' down HKers throats, then the chances are that they are also aware that it's not in HK's best interests.
Without better connection to rest of the China HK will continue to lose its relevance. I am pretty sure most of the HKers can see this. High speed trains are good for Shanghai but bad for HK? What type of logic is that?
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Old August 24th, 2017, 03:30 PM   #1160
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Without better connection to rest of the China HK will continue to lose its relevance. I am pretty sure most of the HKers can see this. High speed trains are good for Shanghai but bad for HK? What type of logic is that?
The price to pay is not losing our prized legal system and freedom. Are you aware of the legal enforcement arrangements at the Hong Kong terminus?
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