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Hong Kong high-speed rail

Why breaking Chinese law at the express rail terminus in Hong Kong is harder than it sounds

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 October, 2018, 4:08pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 October, 2018, 4:08pm

On September 23, I took the newly opened high-speed rail to the mainland and I can only say it was awesome. No doubt the big issue on everyone’s mind was if somehow one could inadvertently breach mainland Chinese law and be dragged off screaming into a previously undisclosed basement, never to be heard from again.

From what I saw, if you really wanted to break some mainland law, you would have to be totally determined. First you would need to buy a ticket, then pass a ticket barrier and MTR baggage X-ray, then go down to the next level where the Hong Kong identity card checks operate as usual, then walk past a whole range of duty free shops, as you do in any border crossing, and finally come to a broad yellow line that demarcates the crossing point. Then, and only then, do you meet the first mainland authorities, who process your passport and baggage smoothly before you proceed to the waiting hall. It would not be possible for a mainland official to reach over the boundary and grab you.

You would have to be either very stupid or very determined to somehow force your way into the mainland zone if you don't wish to go there. Considering the countless hours that this whole subject was debated, not to mention considerable hysteria in the local and international press, the whole subject has been a storm in a tea cup.

The delays, costs and rows that hit Hong Kong’s cross-border express train

Instead, as an extra benefit, my Hong Kong phone SIM card worked almost all the way to Shenzhen station.

Thank goodness this new piece of infrastructure is now in place and functioning. I wonder what our politicians will now chatter about to justify their generous Legislative Council salaries.

Bob Rogers, Sai Kung