Date
23 September 2017
Travel curbs to Hong Kong are unfair, Shenzhen residents say, pointing out that the public at large is being made to pay the price for the acts of a few parallel-goods traders. Photo: CNS
Travel curbs to Hong Kong are unfair, Shenzhen residents say, pointing out that the public at large is being made to pay the price for the acts of a few parallel-goods traders. Photo: CNS

Shenzhen residents unhappy about curb on HK visits

Shenzhen residents are complaining about the curb on Hong Kong visits, dubbing the new measure as unfair and saying that any rule should be reciprocal, Ming Pao Daily reported.

From Monday, mainland authorities suspended issuing multiple permits for Shenzhen residents and began limiting them to once-a-week visits to Hong Kong. The move was taken by Beijing at the request of the Hong Kong government, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Hong Kong authorities have faced growing complaints in recent months about an influx of mainland visitors and parallel-goods traders. Locals blame the visitor rush for various problems such as rising rents, overcrowding and traffic congestion in the city’s border districts.

Now it is Shenzhen residents’ turn to complain.

People in the southern Chinese city that lies just across the border from Hong Kong say travel restrictions on them are unfair and that they are being penalized for the acts of a few parallel traders.

Meanwhile, they pointed out that many Hong Kong people also visit Shenzhen frequently, and that a similar curb should be put on them, too.

Some Shenzhen residents were shocked to learn that multiple-entry visas which they had applied for before the new policy was announced were also subject to the new limit. They received a rude shock when they picked the visas up Monday at the Comprehensive Certificate Issuing Service Center in Luohu.

One applicant surnamed Wang said he was unhappy about the curb as he used to visit Hong Kong regularly. Though the new rule won’t affect him much personally, the measure is very unfair, he said.

Many of the so-called parallel traders are actually Hong kong residents, Wang said, while also questioning the effectiveness of the new curbs.

Another Shenzhen resident, who gave his name as He, said visiting relatives in Hong Kong and shopping in the city have become an integral part of his life over the past ten years. Now the new policy would cause a lot of inconvenience for him, he said.

A woman surnamed Ning said the travel restrictions could prompt her to spend less. It will be Hong Kong’s loss if the city pushes away visitors from Shenzhen, she said.

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TL/AC/RC

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