Che­ung stresses ben­e­fits of co-lo­ca­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By WILLA WU in Hong Kong willa@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Chief Sec­re­tary for Ad­min­is­tra­tion Matthew Che­ung Kin-chung on Fri­day said the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment would not un­der­mine the Ba­sic Law or im­pair the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple. This is be­cause the govern­ment is com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing these core val­ues.

Speak­ing to the me­dia af­ter the Guang­dong-Hong KongMa­cao Co­op­er­a­tion Fo­rum Sum­mit in Zhong­shan, Guang­dong prov­ince, the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion’s No 2 of­fi­cial urged the pub­lic to view the ar­range­ment from a macro-per­spec­tive.

He added that the Guangzhou-Shen­zhen-Hong Kong Ex­press Rail Link (XRL) would greatly ben­e­fit Hong Kong’s econ­omy, cul­ture and youth de­vel­op­ment.

Che­ung added that the govern­ment will talk to the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil and stake­hold­ers from busi­ness sec­tor and the pub­lic to fos­ter a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the ar­range­ment. The pro­posal is be­ing sub­mit­ted to the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress Stand­ing Com­mit­tee (NPCSC) — the coun­try’s top leg­is­la­ture — for ap­proval and rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

The govern­ment on Tues­day an­nounced de­tails of the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment in the XRL’s Hong Kong sec­tion. This would let pas­sen­gers en­joy one-stop im­mi­gra­tion and cus­toms clear­ance ser­vice at the West Kowloon Ter­mi­nus.

Af­ter NPCSC’s ap­proval and rat­i­fi­ca­tion, the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment will be im­ple­mented in Hong Kong through en­act­ment of lo­cal leg­is­la­tion.

Che­ung noted that LegCo’s House Com­mit­tee will hold a spe­cial meet­ing to dis­cuss the ar­range­ment on Aug 3. He added that govern­ment of­fi­cials will at­tend in or­der to ex­plain and pro­mote the ar­range­ment.

Che­ung also said he had in­vited all LegCo mem­bers to

The co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment will not un­der­mine the Ba­sic Law or im­pair the ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’ prin­ci­ple.” Matthew Che­ung Kin-chung, chief sec­re­tary for ad­min­is­tra­tion

join a guided tour to the rail link sta­tion to learn more about how the co-lo­ca­tion works.

Vice-Chair­man of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence (CPPCC) — the coun­try’s top po­lit­i­cal ad­vi­sory body — Le­ung Chun-ying also at­tended the sum­mit. The for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive de­scribed the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment as an in­no­va­tive mech­a­nism. He said it was a sim­ple pro­ce­dure which would achieve bet­ter Hong Kong­main­land com­mu­ni­ca­tion and de­vel­op­ment.

At a sep­a­rate oc­ca­sion, Sec- re­tary for Com­merce and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Ed­ward Yau Tang-wah said the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment was the “most con­ve­nient means” for Hong Kong to achieve max­i­mum eco­nomic ben­e­fits.

The city would lose many de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, for­feit time and con­ve­nience and face many fi­nan­cial costs if it failed to tap into the main­land rail­way net­work, Yau ex­plained.

He said the city’s tourism in­dus­try had al­ready voiced sup­port for the ar­range­ment since in­dus­try in­sid­ers be­lieve the ex­press train ser­vices will at­tract more trav­el­ers to Hong Kong.

MU YU/ XIN­HUA

A man grieves for the vic­tims of the mag­ni­tude 7.5 earth­quake that left more than 240,000 peo­ple dead in Tang­shan, He­bei prov­ince, 41 years ago to the day on Fri­day. He stands at a memo­rial wall that lists the names of those felled by the 1976 tem­blor.

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