China’s top legislative approves mainland law at new railway station in Hong Kong

Vastavam web: China’s top legislative body decreed today that Chinese officials could enforce mainland law at a new railway station in Hong Kong, despite protests that this would erode the city’s autonomy.A high-speed railway linking Hong Kong to the sprawling southern mainland cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou is due to open next year.The station is sited on Hong Kong’s famous harbourfront in Kowloon, not on the border with the mainland further to the north.

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress approved the project.”The NPCSC session said the arrangements are in line with the principle of ‘One country, two systems’, the constitution and the HKSAR Basic Law,” state news agency Xinhua reported, referring to Hong Kong’s post-1997 mini-constitution.Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997 under an agreement which preserved the city’s own government and legal system and guaranteed rights and freedoms unseen on the mainland.

But there are fears these rights are being gradually eroded. Beijing has recently stressed its overall authority over Hong Kong.Li Fei, a high-ranking Beijing official, said today that decisions by the Standing Committee are “unquestionable” and “have the highest judicial power”.But pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong expressed dismay.Legislator Tanya Chan said the plan was the “most serious violation” of the Basic Law since the handover in 1997.