In July of this year the government decided to follow the model of the Shenzhen Bay border crossing and utilize a co-location arrangement for Mainland customs facilities within the West Kowloon terminus of the Express Rail Link (XRL). The HKSAR government is leasing the land and Mainland law will be enforced in the customs area. It is necessary to adopt the “three-step process” to implement the arrangement, including The Mainland and the HKSAR are to reach a Co-operation Arrangement in relation to the implementation of the co-location arrangement this year. Then, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approves and endorses the Co-operation Arrangement. Finally, both sides will implement the arrangement pursuant to their respective procedures. In Hong Kong we will need to finish this work within Legco by next summer in order for the XRL to be operational by the third quarter of 2018. In order to have a clearer picture of the public opinion, the DAB commissioned the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Centre Limited (the Centre) to run a phone survey in late August to gauge the reaction of Hong Kong residents towards the co-location arrangements for the XRL.
(2) Survey Methods:
Survey subjects: Adults 18 and over
We commissioned the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Centre Limited (the Centre) to run a telephone questionnaire using a computer algorithm that chose random phone numbers.Survey Dates: 24th August to 31st August, 2017
Subjects Interviewed: 747 persons
Response rate: 43%
Range of sampling error: +/-3.6% (95% confidence level)
Weighted Adjustment: The survey was weighted using the Population estimates of age and gender for the 3rd quarter of 2016 by the HKSAR government (not including foreign domestic helpers).
(3) Survey results:
Nearly 65% of survey respondents agreed to Hong Kong constructing the Express Rail Link (XRL). Nearly 60% of respondents agreed to the HKSAR government’s announcement of the co-location arrangements. 46% of respondents feel that the co-location arrangements do not contravene the Basic Law in any way, while less than 26% of survey respondents felt that the co-location arrangement contravened the Basic Law. 53% of respondents felt that the co-location arrangements as set out by the HKSAR government do not harm the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”. 57% of survey respondents noted that they will choose to take the XRL if they travel to the Mainland in the future.
The survey results showed that most Hong Kong residents support the construction of the XRL and are willing to use it to travel. Most Hong Kong residents approve of the method that the HKSAR government is handling the co-location arrangement. A portion of local residents do not have comprehensive understanding on how the co-location arrangements are in accordance with the Basic law. The DAB hopes that the HKSAR and Mainland should reach the implementation of the co-location arrangements and to announce the details of the arrangement to the public as soon as possible. At the same time, HKSAR government should continue to improve its efforts to communicate with the public that the co-location arrangements are fully in accordance with the Basic Law.
Legislative Councilor Ben Chan (9274 7035)
Sham Shui Po District Councilor Vincent Cheng (6373 1979)