Chan: Co-location plan ‘essential’
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