The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed railway will be opened on September 23rd. The West Kowloon Station has set up Hong Kong and Mainland port areas. Image | NewsGD 44 Rail Stations Will Be Connected After a three-year delay, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail will be opened on September 23. By then, the route will connect 44 high-speed rail stations in Hong Kong and the Mainland, including at least 15 cities without airports. Last weekend, the design, construction and operation of the Hong Kong section of the High Speed Rail, MTR, invited about 20,000 Hong Kong citizens to visit the port area and provide guided tours and introductions. “Very beautiful. The roof is like an airport.” “The facilities are very complete.” The Mainland port area accounts for a quarter of West Kowloon Station, with a total gross floor area of approximately 105,000 square meters, with 40 stores and a large dining area. Image | SCMP Image | SCMP Compared With the Bus or Plane The MTR Corporation had previously forecast that more than 100,000 passengers would travel on different sections of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail every day, but the latest data was reduced by about 30% to 80,100. The main stream of people will travel to Shenzhen, with an estimated 66,400 people. Previously, the traffic between Hong Kong and Shenzhen was mainly subways and cross-border buses, both of which were lower in price. Taking the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail to various cities is not as fast as nor as cheap as an airplane. Image | Google Compared with the cross-border buses around Hong Kong, it is much faster to take the high-speed rail. Hong Kong’s largest cross-border bus company has predicted that passenger numbers will be reduced by 30%. But they believe that they can still set aside some customers with low prices. The bus is the cheapest way to travel around Hong Kong. If it goes well, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is expected to open this year and the bus journey will also speed up. However, the bridge has been reported many times this year that there may be security problems. MTR, Most Profitable Railway Companies In the World The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed railway was built in Hong Kong with an investment of more than HK$84.4 billion (equivalent to 73.59 billion yuan), more than one-third of the budget. Every year, Hong Kong will levy a port usage fee of HK$1,000 to the Mainland. This is a nominal fee. Image | NEWSGD.com Similarly, Hong Kong will pay HK$1,150 for the use of Shenzhen Bay Station. Shenzhen Bay Station is located in Shekou, Shenzhen, and is about four times the size of West Kowloon Station. However, this fee has caused a lot of controversy in Hong Kong. “How can Shekou compare with West Kowloon?” a member of the Legislative Council questioned . The price around West Kowloon is about HK$30,000 to 80,000 per square foot, equivalent to about 280,000 to 750,000 yuan per square meter, making it one of the most expensive areas in Hong Kong. Image | GooglePlay The operator MTR Corporation is one of the most profitable railway companies in the world with a profit of HK$17 billion (approximately RMB 14.82 billion) in 2017. However, the profitability of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail is being questioned. Different Laws & Regulations Between HK and Mainland Others worry that Hong Kong and the Mainland will have different laws and regulations. According to related regulation, The Hong Kong port area is established and governed by the Hong Kong SAR in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong, and the management of transit restricted areas is implemented. Image | 文汇报 The Mainland port area is established and governed by the Mainland in accordance with this cooperative arrangement and the laws of the Mainland, and the port management system is implemented. According to Xinhuanet, this “cooperative arrangement” officially began after the ceremony was launched on September 4.
Hong Kong bus companies are gearing up to provide stiff competition for ferry businesses crossing the Pearl River estuary once the multibillion-dollar bridge to Macau and Zhuhai opens, providing a cheaper way of getting to the nearby cities. And the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge – scheduled to open later this year but with no date set – could particularly harm the business of ferries to Zhuhai, a legislator said. Alan Chan Chung-yee, managing director of Chinalink Express Holdings, revealed the new business plans of its parent company Kwoon Chung Bus recently, days after the bridge authority announced it would charge 200 yuan (HK$230) per coach for each crossing. It will run 24/7 coach services to Zhuhai from different spots across Kowloon and Hong Kong Island every 15 to 30 minutes. Daytime trips will cost HK$120 and nighttime trips HK$140. That is up to 45 per cent cheaper than the existing ferry services from Tsim Sha Tsui and Sheung Wan, which charge HK$220 per trip. A single ferry trip takes about 70 minutes and the ride is available at intervals of about two hours at each pier. A coach trip to Zhuhai usually takes about two hours. That will be cut by 30 to 50 minutes after the bridge opens, though the prices will be about the same as before. “The ferry [business] to Zhuhai will probably go quiet” pro-Beijing lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun said. Tien noted the ferry port in Zhuhai was far from the city centre and the scheduled services were sparse, making the coach services more attractive. He said the coaches could reach the busy districts of Zhuhai easily after crossing the bridge. The 55km bridge is also set to create a road transport market to Macau. Every day, a maximum of 50 coaches will be allowed to run between the two cities. The bus firm set to lose a third of its passengers to high-speed rail Chan, who is also the convenor of HK-Macau Express – an alliance of seven local and seven Macau companies – said coach services would be offered near the new West Kowloon station about every 30 minutes. His group has taken up 31 of the 50 slots. The coach ride, costing HK$160 during the day and HK$180 at night, was scheduled to take about 70 minutes. It is about 6 per cent to 24 per cent cheaper than taking the ferry from Sheung Wan or Tsim Sha Tsui, depending on time and date. Chan said he believed the business would break even, despite ferry journeys being at least 10 minutes shorter. He said the bridge itself was hailed as one of the “seven wonders of the modern world” in a 2015 newspaper article, and that he expected visiting it would be a hot trend in its first two to three years. “For tours, when they pass through the bridge, they would have one more tourist attraction [to see]. If you take the ferry, then you will not have this,” he said. One Bus Hong Kong Macau, the coach operator which secured the rest of the 50 service slots, will provide a fleet of 19 coaches running between Kwun Tong and the gambling hub. The fares will range from HK$170 to HK$200, depending on time. A journey would take about two hours including border clearing time, said Au Shui-hing, deputy chairman of the Hong Kong Macau Cross Border Association. Lawmaker Yiu Si-wing, who represents the tourism sector, said the ferry services to Macau should still be competitive, because they take only an hour. But he added there could be some impact on the ferry businesses, as many people would like to “try out new things”, and the bridge itself was an attraction.
Ten cities around Greater China have been listed in the top 100 of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2018 analysis of the most livable cities in the world. This year, Hong Kong, Taipei and Suzhou ranked #35, #58 and #74 respectively. Also making the list: Beijing (#75), Tianjin (#77), Shanghai (#81), Shenzhen (#82), Dalian (#90), Guangzhou (#95) and Qingdao (#97). According to the 2018 edition of the annual report, the Austrian capital of Vienna is now the world’s most livable city, overtaking Australian city Melbourne (#2) to take the top prize. Vienna: the world’s ‘most livable’ city. Image via Pixabay Both Australia and Canada had three entrants at the top, with Australian cities Adelaide and Sydney making the list alongside Melbourne, and Canadian cities Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto also breaking the top 10. Melbourne was ranked the world’s second most livable city. Image via Pixabay Japan also had a good year, with both Osaka and Tokyo coming in at #3 and #7 respectively. The other city to make the top 10 was Danish capital Copenhagen. Osaka ranked as the third most livable city on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2018 survey. Image via Pixabay The report analyzes the livability of cities based on five main factors: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Each factor is rated out of 100, with 100 meaning ideal and one meaning intolerable. Each city is then given an overall livability rating out of 100 based on each of the five factors. This year’s chart topper Vienna received an overall rating of 99.1, including a perfect 100 in stability, healthcare, education and infrastructure. A total of 140 cities were surveyed. Here’s a chart of this year’s top 10: Image via Economist Intelligence Unit And this year’s bottom 10: Image via Economist Intelligence Unit
A new regulation will allow residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan to apply for residence permits in the Chinese mainland. Eligible applicants may apply for this permit on a voluntary basis, according to the officials. Image | 明报 A document issued at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office Thursday said the regulation, to be promulgated by the State Council General Office, will take effect from September 1. Image | 香港经济日报 With a residence permit, residents from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan will enjoy more rights, basic public services, and other conveniences relating to their study, work, business operation, and life in the mainland, the document said. Applicant Qualifications Pass for Hong Kong and Macao residents to travel to the Mainland (Home Visit Permit), or a 5-year permit for Taiwan residents to the mainland (Taiwan Pass) Living in the Mainland for more than half a year, having legally stable employment, legally stable residence, or continuous studying documents. Holders can enjoy these welfare Holders enjoy 3 rights, 6 basic public services and 9 conveniences. 3 Rights Legal labor and employment, Social insurance, Housing provident fund. 6 Basic Public Services The government and relevant departments shall provide the holder with… 9 years of compulsory education, Basic public employment services, Basic public health services, Public cultural sports services, Legal aid Other legal services; 9 Conveniences Apply for a motor vehicle driver’s license and registration of motor vehicles in your place of residence, Apply for a vocational qualification examination or professional qualifications, Register for birth services and check in at hotels in the Mainland, Purchase domestic flights, trains tickets online. Using financial services such as banking, insurance, securities and futures services; Shopping in the equal treatment as Mainland residents; Purchasing tickets for parks and various cultural and sports venues; Cultural entertainment; Business travel consumption; etc How to apply for it? Apply at the nearest police station and submit the supporting documents, and you will be able to obtain the residence permit within 20 working days; The public security organs of all cities will announce the specific acceptance points and specific procedures to the public before September. Image | 線報 The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China pledged to formulate and improve policies and measures to make it more convenient for people from Hong Kong and Macao to develop careers on the mainland. It also said efforts will be made to ensure that over time, people from Taiwan will enjoy the same treatment as mainland residents when they pursue their studies, start businesses, seek jobs, or live on the mainland. Share to let your friends know!