Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-Leung is set to fly to Beijing on Wednesday afternoon to discuss operational details of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.
It will be Cheung’s second trip of the kind in a little over a month after he and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung met officials from the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council in Beijing for the same purpose in March, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The trip also means that Cheung will not join as originally planned a delegation led by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to conduct a three-day trip from Wednesday to visit six cities in Guangdong province as part of preparations for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area development plan.
Cheung is scheduled to hold discussions with officials of both China Railway Corp. and the National Railway Administration on Thursday morning before he returns to Hong Kong later in the afternoon.
He told a radio program earlier that the “co-location” issue involving the Express Rail Link still needs more discussions with Beijing before it can be resolved, and he hopes it can be done before the new government takes over on July 1.
He said the core problem regarding co-location, a scheme in which the Hong Kong and mainland customs, immigration and quarantine facilities are located at the West Kowloon terminus, is about mutual trust rather than technical issues.
He stressed that he is optimistic about reaching a final agreement, adding that MTR Corp. will definitely be in charge of the Hong Kong section of the Express Rail Link.
The section is expected to be commissioned by the third quarter of next year but many details regarding how to achieve efficient operations are still to be discussed, news website hk01.com reported.
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