Shenzhen urges quick action on checkpoint
Shenzhen is hoping an assessment on the best site for a fifth border checkpoint will move the city one step closer to easing traffic pressure in the downtown area.
'The results of the evaluation will be handed down in the first half of the year,' Guangdong Vice-Governor Tang Bingquan said yesterday. 'In the future, trucks from eastern Guangdong can use the new Eastern Corridor to enter Hong Kong without passing through downtown Shenzhen.'
Shenzhen has three checkpoints downtown - Huanggang, Lo Wu and Wen Jin Du - and a fourth is due to open later this year in its western corridor. Shenzhen and Hong Kong planners are determining the exact location and routes feeding a fifth checkpoint, in the mainland city's east.
In Guangzhou to attend the provincial legislature, Shenzhen Mayor Xu Zongheng said more than 167 million passengers and 15 million vehicles left his city last year for Hong Kong.
'The old checkpoints, Huanggang and Lo Wu, are overloaded,' he said. 'The evaluation of the border crossing construction should be quickened.'
Pearl River Delta expert Zheng Tianxiang said the Eastern Corridor would be helpful for Shenzhen, but it was another example of the lack of co-ordination between Guangdong and Hong Kong.
Professor Zheng said the Eastern Corridor project was proposed by Shenzhen two years ago, when the city's development turned Wen Jin Du and Huanggang into built-up areas that became too congested to serve as border crossings for trucks.
The clash in interests between Guangdong and Hong Kong had been a focus of attention in the past five years, Professor Zheng said.
Quarrels over the construction of airports, ports and even the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge were caused by conflicting interests.
He said the Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference had not worked well to resolve these conflicts.