HK mem­ber of NPCSC says ar­range­ment is practical

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By JOSEPH LI in Hong Kong joseph@chi­nadai­

The co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment is es­sen­tial to the op­er­a­tion of the Hong Kong sec­tion of the Guang­dongShen­zhen-Hong Kong Ex­press Rail Link (XRL), Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress Stand­ing Com­mit­tee (NPCSC) mem­ber Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said on Thurs­day.

She told China Daily in an exclusive in­ter­view that such an ar­range­ment was work­able and had a solid le­gal ba­sis.

The govern­ment has pro­posed a co-lo­ca­tion sys­tem of bound­ary con­trol fa­cil­i­ties at the XRL ter­mi­nus in West Kowloon by set­ting up a main­land port area — where Chi­nese main­land laws are ap­pli­ca­ble — inside the sta­tion.

The co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment fully com­plies with the prin­ci­ple of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” and the Ba­sic Law, Fan said.

Fan also praised the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion govern­ment for adopt­ing a three-step pro­ce­dure. She ex­plained that it did this by first ob­tain­ing the en­dorse­ment of the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil be­fore sub­mit­ting the mat­ter to the NPCSC.

“It could do it with only two steps but this shows it re­spects LegCo and Hong Kong res­i­dents. This also shows it has con­fi­dence that it does not need NPCSC ap­proval ahead of LegCo en­dorse­ment,” she said.

“The pro­ce­dure is fully com­pli­ant with ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’ and the Ba­sic Law. If not for safe­guard­ing ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’, the Hong Kong govern­ment needs not do so many things.”

Fan ex­pects the NPCSC will au­tho­rize the co-lo­ca­tion doc­u­ment in De­cem­ber at the ear­li­est. This will be af­ter LegCo has passed a res­o­lu­tion to set up the co-lo­ca­tion sys­tem.

Af­ter this, the SAR govern­ment will — through the State Coun­cil — seek NPCSC ap­proval for the co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment be­tween Hong Kong and the main­land re­gard­ing the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment.

If the NPCSC ap­proves the mat­ter in De­cem­ber, Fan es­ti­mates LegCo has about seven months to en­act a lo­cal law to im­ple­ment the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment. The XRL is ex­pected to start op­er­at­ing in the third quar­ter of next year.

Ac­cord­ing to the SAR govern­ment pro­posal, the Main­land Port Area inside the West Kowloon Ter­mi­nus will be un­der the author­ity of the main­land side. Hong Kong laws will not ap­ply there once it is leased to the main­land. This is in ac­cor­dance with Ar­ti­cle 7 of the Ba­sic Law, Fan ex­plains.

She con­demned the op­po­si­tion for de­scrib­ing the Main­land Port Area inside the ter­mi­nus as be­ing “ceded” to the main­land.

“There is no such thing as ced­ing the site be­cause nat­u­ral re­sources in Hong Kong are State prop­er­ties. The op­po­si­tion camp is sim­ply pan­ick­ing and ral­ly­ing Hong Kong res­i­dents to op­pose the co-lo­ca­tion sys­tem,” she said.

meets Mar­garet Chan, for­mer di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the UN World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, on Thurs­day in Zhong­nan­hai, a cen­tral govern­ment of­fice com­pound in Bei­jing.


Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress Stand­ing Com­mit­tee mem­ber Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai says the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment for the Ex­press Rail Link is in full com­pli­ance with the prin­ci­ple of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” and the Ba­sic Law.

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