Friday, August 18, 2017

HKU Law Faculty Members Comment on Hong Kong's High Speed Railway Joint Checkpoint Issue

Ming Pao
1 Aug 2017
The HKSAR Government announced on Tuesday (25 July 2017) the plan for the “co-location” of customs, immigration and quarantine clearance (“CIQ”) arrangements at the West Kowloon station of the Express Rail Link to Shenzhen and Guangzhou. It has aroused heated debates in the community, including many criticisms and objections from the political and legal circles. I believe that we should not over-politicize the relevant issues, but should consider and discuss the matters in a manner that is impartial, rational and practical, so that the public can comprehensively and objectively understand the nature of the co-location plan in the West Kowloon Station.
     It must be pointed out that convenience for passengers is the sole objective of the co-location plan, which is to enable passengers to go through the CIQ clearance procedures with less time and more expedience. In other words, after passing the checkpoints in the West Kowloon Station, passengers from Hong Kong can go to all destinations in the Mainland without the need to go through any clearance procedure in the mainland. Conversely, passengers from the Mainland can undergo CIQ procedures only after they arrive in Hong Kong, without any clearance procedure in any Mainland city. Thus, the co-location plan is not designed for the purpose of expanding the jurisdiction of the Mainland authorities, or to extend the reach of Mainland laws in Hong Kong... Click here to read the full article in Chinese.  

Section 39 of the Public Order Ordinance gives Mainland law enforcement officers a limited degree of powers with necessary force to arrest and detain the Mainland's wanted persons for repartition inside trains and within the “immigration area on the Mainland side”. In order to tackle the so-called security loopholes, there is no need to fully implement Mainland laws or to remove the jurisdiction of Hong Kong... Click here to read the full post in Chinese on Eric Cheung's Facebook page.
For other articles and coverage, see Ming Pao (Johannes Chan), The Standard, Hong Kong Free Press, RTHKSouth China Morning Post, Reuters, and New York Times.  Translations by Isabella Liu.

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