The sleepy border town of Sha Tau Kok may see more mainland visitors if a move by the Shenzhen government to have entry restrictions eased is approved by Hong Kong.
With a view to funneling some mainland visitors from urban districts to the border areas, Shenzhen officials plan to propose fully opening up Chung Ying Street when the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Joint Task Force on Boundary District Development meets in October, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.
Chung Ying Street in Sha Tau Kok is an open boundary between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
The plan would require the consent of the Hong Kong government.
It would involve coordinated enhancement of border security to let mainlanders visit the New Territories.
The plan may pile pressure on Hong Kong’s Security Bureau, which is opposed to the opening up of the 500-meter street and the Sha Tau Kok Market, the report said.
This has been a decade-old issue. Now the Shenzhen plan has raised concerns over border and customs controls.
There is virtually no border control on Chung Ying Street to restrict cross-border activity, said a spokesman for the Security Bureau.
There is also not enough space to set up physical barriers to mark the border in Sha Tau Kok, the spokesman said.
Lawmaker Yiu Si-wing, who represents the tourism industry, sees the opening up of the border areas as unlikely to happen, given the history and existing regulations over Chung Ying Street.
Also, such a move would lead to an increase in cross-border crime such as smuggling and illegal parallel trade, he was quoted as saying.
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