Lawmakers voice fears over controls at the $2.9b shared checkpoint The mainland authorities were yesterday urged to legislate to protect Hong Kong's jurisdiction at a shared immigration and customs checkpoint on a new cross-border highway linking Deep Bay and Shekou in Shenzhen. Work on the $2.9 billion border crossing for the Shenzhen Western Corridor will start this year and it is expected to be opened in 2005 to cater for the increasing flow of goods and passengers within the Pearl River Delta. Under a border facilities agreement with the mainland, Hong Kong will be responsible for managing an area of 42 hectares at the Shekou checkpoint. It will also become the biggest land checkpoint except for Lowu, with 50 lanes for small vehicles and 64 lanes for freight vehicles. In a joint transport and security panel meeting in the Legislative Council yesterday, lawmakers expressed worries over the basis on which Hong Kong was assured of its jurisdiction for border facilities outside Hong Kong. Democrat legislator James To Kun-sun urged the government to press the mainland authorities to enact laws to protect the jurisdiction. 'We should not rely on administrative arrangement or any memorandum to protect the jurisdiction,' he said. 'It is of great importance to Hong Kong that under no circumstances the jurisdiction could be infringed. 'Otherwise, mainland officers might just come over and grab whoever they want.' Legislators Albert Ho Chun-yan and Tang Siu-tong also expressed concern over the limits of Hong Kong's jurisdiction on the access road to the checkpoints. Michael Wong Wai-lun, deputy permanent secretary for security, assured legislators that no mainland officers would carry out duties within the Hong Kong jurisdiction. 'We are still in talks with the mainland on what methods we could use to avoid duplication of jurisdiction,' he said. Under the consensus achieved so far, Hong Kong will also be responsible for managing the 5km-long bridge at the Western Corridor. But key border facility structures, except sensitive security systems, will be designed by the mainland.