Chan: Co-lo­ca­tion plan ‘essen­tial’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong luis­liu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

The co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment will be the “only plan” for bound­ary con­trol of the Guangzhou-Shen­zhen-Hong Kong Ex­press Rail Link (XRL) at the West Kowloon Ter­mi­nus, Sec­re­tary for Trans­port and Hous­ing Frank Chan Fan said.

“There is no plan B,” he added. “Only by im­ple­ment­ing joint bound­ary con­trols can the rail link max­i­mize its power.”

The plan will be un­veiled in a week, ac­cord­ing to a source from the main­land. Chan re­fused to dis­close the timetable as he has to com­ply with the prin­ci­ple of con­fi­den­tial­ity.

Chan said the ne­go­ti­a­tions with main­land author­i­ties were en­ter­ing the “fi­nal stage” with a few mat­ters to be “fi­nal­ized”.

He said the plan would com­ply with the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple but also safe­guard the city’s high de­gree of au­ton­omy.

The plan has been con­tro­ver­sial in Hong Kong. This is be­cause Ar­ti­cle 22 of the Ba­sic Law stip­u­lates that no govern­ment de­part­ments on the main­land can in­ter­fere in af­fairs which the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion ad­min­is­ters on its own in ac­cor­dance with the Ba­sic Law.

Op­po­nents ar­gue that the Ba­sic Law bans main­land law en­force­ment of­fi­cers from car­ry­ing out du­ties in Hong Kong.

How­ever, a num­ber of le­gal pro­fes­sion­als said if main­land of­fi­cers work in a re­stricted area at the ter­mi­nus, they should not be deemed as “in­ter­fer­ing in Hong Kong af­fairs”.

Chan hopes Hong Kong peo­ple will ap­pre­ci­ate the strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance of this in­fra­struc­ture project for the SAR, and for the na­tion.

The trans­port chief is not afraid that the con­tro­versy will hurt the govern­ment’s rep­u­ta­tion. As the plan was good for Hong Kong, the govern­ment would work to­ward it, Chan added.

There is no plan B. Only by im­ple­ment­ing joint bound­ary con­trols can the rail link max­i­mize its power.” Frank Chan Fan, sec­re­tary for trans­port and hous­ing

WANG KAI / XIN­HUA

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