Zhang sees express link for youths

Local | Phoenix Un 21 Sep 2018

Hong Kong youngsters should visit the mainland via the express rail and learn more about developments in the country, said Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.

China Central Television conducted an exclusive interview with Zhang ahead of the launch of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link services.

Of course, tickets for the first train from West Kowloon to Shenzhen North, which departs at 7am this Sunday, were sold out yesterday, the first day they were up for grabs yesterday.

Tickets for most of the other six short-distance routes that day are still available.

Zhang said the express rail is a key part of the infrastructure that links Hong Kong up with the mainland.

"I really hope that those among our Hong Kong compatriots who haven't been to the mainland, especially youngsters, will come by the express rail to observe the country, visit it more, and gain a better understanding of the true nature of the country's development," Zhang said.

He also said the co-location arrangement is an innovative policy between the central government and Hong Kong as it provides a framework for future cooperation between the mainland and the two SARs.

While the co-location arrangement is a sensitive and complex issue, it conforms with the Basic Law, he said, pointing out that the decision to implement it was made by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in December.

"I believe that the residents of Hong Kong and the mainland will appreciate the co-location arrangement better through their personal experience, and come to understand that their worries are unnecessary," Zhang said.

He also said he could picture a family from Guangzhou taking the express rail to Hong Kong to shop, dine and watch a show in the West Kowloon Cultural District.

"They can then return to Guangzhou at a leisurely pace on the express rail within just one hour, and it won't even affect their work or school schedules the day after," he said.

For Zhang, transportation within the Greater Bay Area must be interconnected in a better way, and the express rail is the first step to accomplishing this.

He added that Beijing will implement numerous other policies to facilitate the integration of the two SARs into the country's development plans.

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