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The 22nd Annual Boundary Liaison Review Meeting

The 22nd Annual Boundary Liaison Review Meeting was held in Hong Kong today (April 25). Leaders of the Hong Kong and Guangdong delegations were the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, Mr Michael Suen, and the Director-General, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Guangdong Provincial People's Government, Mr Huang Ziqiang.

The two leaders shared the view that the annual session had been fruitful and that the Boundary Liaison System had contributed to the social stability and economic developments of the two places.

Mr Suen said that the volume of cross-boundary passengers, vehicular traffic and cargo flow between Hong Kong and Guangdong had been increasing over the years. The number of cross-boundary passengers and vehicles rose to over 100 million and 11 million respectively in 2001, respective increases of five percent and one percent over the 2000 figures.

To cope with the increasing volume of cross-boundary passengers and vehicular traffic, the HKSAR Government had initiated improvement measures, including increasing immigration staff at Lo Wu Boundary Control Point, widening the passenger lanes at Lo Wu Bridge and expanding the boundary crossing facilities at Lok Ma Chau.

To ease passenger flow, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation would carry out a series of improvement works at Lo Wu Station. The works are expected to be completed in the year 2003/04.

Mr Suen pointed out that the law enforcement agencies of the two places had been working closely to combat illegal immigration and cross-boundary crimes. In 2001, there were significant drops in the number of illegal immigrants and the seizure of contraband goods including cannabis/cannabis resin, "ice", compact discs and meat.

Both sides would continue to join hands in tackling such illicit activities.

The Meeting noted that there had been an increasing trend in the number of woman illegal immigrants involved in vice activities in Hong Kong, and the seizure of "ecstasy", unmanifested cigarettes and smuggled vehicles last year.

Both sides would further strengthen their efforts to gather and exchange intelligence to crack down on these illegal, smuggling and drug trafficking activities.

Looking ahead, both sides agreed that the smooth flow of passengers and vehicular traffic at boundary control points should top the agenda and that joint efforts to combat cross-boundary illegal activities would be equally important.

At a media session after the Review Meeting, both sides reaffirmed that the Boundary Liaison System had been an effective channel to tackle cross-boundary issues and had laid a good foundation for officers from both sides to cope with the work of the increasingly busy boundary crossings.

Mr Suen noted that taking into account the scope of work of the Security Bureau and the nature of the Review Meeting, it would be appropriate for the Secretary for Security to assume the leadership role of the Hong Kong delegation to the Review Meeting from next year onwards.

End/Thursday, April 25, 2002.