Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying proposed that Hong Kong cars be allowed to drive through the Shenzhen border even without having Chinese car license plates.
Speaking at the Construction Industry Council luncheon on Thursday, Leung, who now serves as vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said the road network of Guangdong province has enough capacity to accommodate cars from Hong Kong.
However, he is not suggesting a reciprocal arrangement. He said allowing Chinese vehicles to enter Hong Kong without local license plates could result in huge traffic jams in the territory.
Leung said his proposal is in line with the Greater Bay Area scheme, which aims to strengthen links among Hong Kong, Macau and cities in Guangdong.
Currently, Hong Kong cars traveling to Zhuhai via the sea bridge must apply for a cross-border license.
Applicants must be a Hong Kong enterprise that has paid an accumulative tax amount of at least 100,000 yuan (US$15,390) in Guangdong over the past three years, or a recognized national high-tech Hong Kong enterprise.
People can also apply if they donated an accumulative amount of 5 million yuan in Guangdong or are members of the National People’s Congress or the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
In 2012, when he was still chief executive, Leung proposed an Ad Hoc Quota Trial Scheme for Cross-Boundary Private Cars to allow Hong Kong cars to drive directly through the border.
However, the proposal was shelved following opposition from some legislators.
Records show that the number of mainland non-commercial cross-boundary vehicles rose to 3,400 last year from 2,300 in 2013.
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