Cautious approach on border tourism

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 12:00am

With the government considering opening up part of the divided Shataukok border village to tourism, Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong has warned that a plan to develop the village's pier and nearby streets faces opposition from residents.

Mr Lee told legislators yesterday the plan could not be implemented at the expense of public order and effective management of the closed border area.

'We can see that there is room for opening up part of the closed area, but our bureau has to make sure public order there will not be affected,' he said.

Shataukok straddles the border, with the Hong Kong and mainland sections divided at the famed Chung Ying Street.

If the plan went ahead, Mr Lee said support would be needed from other departments to widen roads and review town planning.

'The Environmental Protection Department also has to make plans to save natural resources in the area from potential damage.'

Mr Lee said initial planning for Shataukok had been carried out with a population of 5,000 in mind. The current population of the village is about 4,300.

'The present facilities and traffic-management measures would be insufficient to cope with a sudden increase in traffic flow, and improvements must be made before the opening of the area can be implemented,' he said.

When pressed by lawmakers for a timetable, Mr Lee said only that the government would announce its decision at a later date.