Checkpoint onbridge onlytemporary

Local | Michael Shum 18 Dec 2019

Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung Kin-chung says the arrest of a Hongkonger by mainland authorities on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is perfectly legal.

Zhuhai authorities set up a check-point on the bridge's eastern artificial island days before President Xi Jinping's visit to Macau today, during which they made the arrest on the grounds that he was wanted for a smuggling offense seven years ago.

The arrest sparked concern that the additional checks are in breach of agreements that Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai should each have their boundary checkpoint and carry out immigration and customs checks in their own areas.

Cheung said boundary control and the three administrations' exercise of jurisdiction are two different concepts: while Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai each have their own check-point on different ends of the bridge, they have jurisdiction over their respective territories.

He also said the checkpoint on the eastern artificial island is only a temporary measures taken due to Xi's visit.

The immigration department and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong has already contacted authorities and approached the family of the man.

Meanwhile, on the independent review committee, Cheung said the panel does not need the power to summon, as it should focus on events instead of people involved in the unrest.

"We've repeatedly said that it's meant to take a macro view of what actually happened in the lead up to the social events," he said.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said that if the panel does not have the power to compel witnesses to give evidence, the panel would not be able to get to the truth of recent incidents.

Editorial: Bridge arrest stretches the borders

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