Why Hong Kong’s high-speed rail link sparks doubts about ‘one country, two systems’
I refer to your report on 800 mainland officers to be stationed at the West Kowloon terminus of the high-speed cross-border rail (“National law enforced in Hong Kong’s high-speed rail terminus”, September 3). These officers, who include immigration, customs and quarantine personnel, will enforce the national law in their designated port area, under the “co-location” joint checkpoint arrangement.
This is a good thing for express rail passengers, who will have a convenient border crossing from Hong Kong to the mainland at just one location. However, I wonder if it is good for Hong Kong on the whole, because it marks the very first step for the mainland government to assume control of Hong Kong.
In 2047, the “one country, two systems” principle will expire in any case. The central government will then take back full control of Hong Kong. Now, although they are only enforcing the national law in a small area of Hong Kong, this is already a big step towards controlling the city.
Many Hong Kong people will be travelling through the West Kowloon rail terminus. National law in force in the mainland port area can help a lot of Hongkongers get used to the governing environment of the mainland. After this, Beijing may find reason to declare more places in Hong Kong where national law would apply. This would mean taking control step by step. In my opinion, this is not fair to the people of Hong Kong, and would weaken the “one country, two systems” arrangement.
Leung Ching Tong, Tseung Kwan O