Ronny Tong seeks clarity on PLA border farms

Local | 12 Nov 2018 4:25 pm

Executive councilor and barrister Ronny Tong said today that the government must follow up on concerns that mainland border guards are breaking the law by crossing in and out of Hong Kong without going through immigration checkpoints.

The FactWire news agency reported over the weekend that guards from Guangdong have taken over private land in the SAR's restricted zone, building a bridge over the Sha Tau Kok River so they can cross back and forth from Shenzhen at will.

The agency said the guards have occupied the land for at least six years and have been growing vegetables. Photographs also appeared to show the border guards emptying rubbish bins on Hong Kong soil.

Tong said the government has a duty to resolve the matter with the mainland authorities if there has been a breach of the law.

"If they have infringed immigration laws by crossing the border without security checks or without passport controls, then we have to examine the relevant regulation and laws, whether they do or do not apply to the PLA," Tong told RTHK's Jimmy Choi.

"My understanding is the current law does not apply to the PLA in so far as they are crossing the border in the execution of their normal duties. So the question arises as to in what capacity did members of the PLA cross the border and what exactly were they doing," Tong said.

"What I have seen on the television is that these people, in PLA uniforms, were performing daily chores, which may or may not be considered as part of the exercise of their official or normal duties."

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