Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that 80 to 90 per cent of the public support the joint checkpoint arrangement for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link. Lam did not specify the study she was referring to, though a recent Democratic Party poll revealed that opinion was split.
At a youth forum attended by 260 young people on Monday afternoon, Lam denied that there was a lot of controversy surrounding the mechanism.
“There are a lot of people in society who support the joint checkpoint arrangement. I saw yesterday that the latest studies show 80 to 90 per cent of people support [it], because the public understands that this is the most beneficial [approach] for Hong Kong society and the economy.”
The proposal will involve “leasing” land to China and effectively giving up Hong Kong jurisdiction across a quarter of the West Kowloon terminus for faster immigration procedures performed by mainland law enforcement agents. It has been heavily criticised by pro-democracy activists, who say that it is a violation of Basic Law.
The Democratic Party’s survey was conducted between September 16 and October 5 amongst 1,053 people.
It showed that 41.5 per cent of those polled supported the government’s proposal, 42.8 per cent opposed it, whilst 15.7 per cent said they did not have an opinion.
Opinions were also split by around 50/50 as to whether the plan violated the Basic Law, and whether they expect there to be similar arrangements set up in the future.
Lawmaker Wu Chi-wai, the party’s leader, said the government had “ignored public voices.”