Pro-democracy legislator “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung says he has received a single-visit travel permit to mainland China, having previously been prevented from crossing the border on numerous occasions.
Leung and 18 other lawmakers are planning to visit the Dongjiang River Basin in neighbouring Guangdong Province between Friday and Saturday. As part of the Panel on Development, they will observe the facilities that provide Hong Kong’s water supply.
Other pro-democracy lawmakers who confirmed their participation as of a January 12 Legislative Council document include the Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung, Shiu Ka-chun from the social welfare constituency, and Hong Kong self-determination advocate Eddie Chu.
They plan to “obtain first-hand information on the measures taken by the Guangdong provincial authorities in safeguarding the quality of Dongjiang water supplied to Hong Kong,” and “exchange views with the Guangdong provincial authorities on issues of mutual concern.”
The visit was originally planned for February, but was delayed to this weekend.
The Hong Kong government said last November that Beijing would allow pro-democracy legislators – who have traditionally faced difficulties crossing the border – to apply for mainland travel permits.
In December, Leung said that he would only participate in the visit if the government recognised his status as a lawmaker. He and another three legislators are currently facing a government legal challenge seeking to disqualify them from the legislature based on the ways they took their oaths of office.
Speaking at the Legislative Council on Tuesday, Leung said that the sole aim of his visit was to observe the Dongjiang River.
He said he would only speak about issues such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre if he had the chance to meet with Central Government officials, but did not believe there would be any political discussions at all, reported HK01.
Leung did not respond directly as to whether he would attempt to cross the border wearing clothes bearing political slogans. He added that if it would be the fault of the mainland authorities if his attempt was unsuccessful.
In August 2014, Leung was turned back at Shenzhen’s Huanggang Port checkpoint while wearing a t-shirt printed with the phrases “remember June 4th, universal suffrage, Occupy Central.”
He was also refused a mainland travel permit in 2008 as he attempted to visit earthquake-stricken Sichuan Province. However, he has successfully crossed the border on earlier occasions.