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Co-location clears security risks

August 07, 2017

The co-location arrangement for the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will ensure there is a clear delineation of laws and jurisdictions between the Mainland and Hong Kong, and will address security risks.


Speaking to the media today, Secretary for Security John Lee said the Government’s co-location plan will differentiate two port areas so Mainland officials will only do their clearance work in the Mainland Port Area.


He said he must ensure there is no security risk, emphasising there will be security risks if Mainland officials are only allowed to perform clearance in accordance with customs, immigration and quarantine laws.


“For things beyond CIQ laws, they will have no power. Then it means Hong Kong officers will have to execute those powers, and because of this overlapping of law, it will be overlapping of jurisdictions.”


Saying such overlapping of jurisdictions will bring about uncertainties, Mr Lee gave the example of a Mainland offender buying a ticket to arrive at West Kowloon Station.


He said the offender can challenge the authority of Mainland officials if they try to send him back to the Mainland.


“Because of overlapping jurisdictions, that will mean the courts in Hong Kong may accept his challenge. How long will the challenge last? That is the first uncertainty.


“And if he has successfully challenged the authority of the Mainland officials, then he will be stranded in Hong Kong because he has committed no offence in Hong Kong. 


“And we have no surrender of fugitive agreement with the Mainland, then a criminal will be stranded here. That is a big risk to me.”


Mr Lee is also worried the number of non-refoulement claims will rise if there is overlapping jurisdiction, as Hong Kong must accept the claims once they are made in the geographical area of Hong Kong.


He said the present arrangement for co-location, where Mainland officials can enforce laws beyond the CIQ laws in the Mainland Port Area, can guard against these risks.