Top legislature approves one-stop boundary control arrangement in HKSAR - POLITICS - Humanrights

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Top legislature approves one-stop boundary control arrangement in HKSAR
December 28,2017   By:Xinhua

BEIJING, Dec. 28, 2017 -- China's top legislature on Wednesday applied a one-stop boundary control cooperation arrangement in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

In the decision adopted by the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature confirmed that the cooperation arrangement, signed by Guangdong Province and the HKSAR on Nov. 18, complied with the Constitution and the Basic Law of HKSAR.

The decision said that the HKSAR should ensure implementation of the cooperation arrangement through legislation.

Under the arrangement, a port will be established at the railway station in West Kowloon in Hong Kong, which is part of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

The mainland and the HKSAR will carry out exit and entry supervision at the port, including immigration inspection, customs clearance, and inspection and quarantine measures for people crossing the border, as well as their belongings.

The Hong Kong section of the the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link is scheduled to open in the third quarter of next year.

"Any revision to the arrangement after the port is put into use should be approved by the State Council and submitted to the NPC Standing Committee to put on record," according to the decision.

The cooperation arrangement signed between the mainland and the HKSAR last month marked the first step in a three-step process by the two sides.

The second step is for the NPC Standing Committee to deliberate and approve the arrangement, after which the two sides can begin the local legislative process to implement the arrangement.

The decision said the arrangement is fully consistent with the "one country, two systems" policy, and establishing one-stop boundary control will not change the administrative plan of HKSAR and will not impair its high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedom of Hong Kong residents.

A spokesperson with the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council on Wednesday issued a statement welcoming the adoption of the decision, saying it has laid down a legal basis for implementation of the one-stop boundary control at West Kowloon station.

"The one-stop boundary control arrangement at West Kowloon station is the best plan for the transportation, social and economic good of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link," the spokesperson said.

The arrangement fully embodies the central government's policy orientation in supporting HKSAR's development, facilitating personnel exchanges and economic and trade activities between the mainland and HKSAR, and better incorporating the HKSAR into national development, the statement read.

"It is important for maintaining lasting prosperity in Hong Kong," the spokesperson noted.

A statement issued by the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR Wednesday said the arrangement will inject new impetus and opportunities for Hong Kong's long-term development.

The office expressed hope that people from various circles in Hong Kong could support the SAR in accomplishing local legislation concerning the arrangement with a reasonable and pragmatic attitude, in a bid to ensure the Hong Kong section of the Express Rail Link to open on schedule.

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