Secretary for Security John Lee has said that the government is striving to set up an arrangement with the mainland so that members of the public who are on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link or in the mainland port area could be referred to mainland police when they dial 999.
In the government’s proposal, the mainland port area in the West Kowloon Terminus and the trains – even if they are in Hong Kong – will be under mainland jurisdiction.
Lee said that some Hongkongers may not be familiar with China’s emergency number – 110 instead of 999 – and the arrangement would allow local police to transfer cases to mainland officers for follow up.
In interviews with various local media outlets, Lee said that in order for the public to feel at ease when taking the express rail link, the government is studying the possibility of having the train operator hire individuals with experience in local disciplinary forces and set up teams to provide assistance or for contingency purposes.
They would be stationed at mainland port areas to handle Hongkongers’ requests for assistance and enquiries. Lee said that the concept was similar to teams currently working with local railway operator MTR to enforce by-laws, such as those targeting parallel traders.
Lee also said that, although there will be internet connection, mainland laws will be in force in the mainland port areas and on trains.
The government will put forward a motion debate at the Legislative Council in support of the controversial joint checkpoint arrangement for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link on Wednesday. Although the motion will be non-binding, the government will go ahead and start procedures needed to implement the arrangement after the motion is debated.
The arrangement 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.