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Could costly train line be going nowhere?

Thursday, March 03, 2016 - 01:24

Public anger is growing in Hong Kong over a new train line linking the region to the Chinese mainland. As Tara Joseph reports, some officials are considering scrapping the project even though billions has already been spent on the project

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Laying the tracks to connect Hong Kong to China's major cities. This high speed train will eventually whisk up to 90-thousand passengers a day across the border in less than 15 minutes. But it's stirred up so much public anger that officials are thinking of scrapping the project... even though it's seventy five percent complete - and has racked up bills of 8 billion dollars and counting. Hong Kong officially belongs to China, but it still has some autonomy. Many residents are scared that their freedoms could be reduced by a greater mainland presence here... Some saying border staff could just be the start of it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROY TAM, HONG KONG RESIDENT, SAYING: "We are very afraid of the Chinese government to impose or set up a Chinese police office in the West Kowloon terminal this is our worry. In order to carry out the immigration policy the Chinese government will not just impose some immigration officer they will also impose some Chinese police." But supporters of the rail plan say that without the line, Hong Kong risks isolation....and falling behind. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REGINA, HONG KONG RESIDENT, SAYING: "It's important for not to be left out. Long term we don't want to become a second or third tier city of China." Many Hong Kongers are fretting over the long arm of China - a hot topic right now after five local booksellers critical of Beijing went missing in mysterious circumstances late last year. Critics say the new train terminal will hand even more power to the Communist Party...which is determined to pull Hong Kong back towards the mainland.

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Could costly train line be going nowhere?

Thursday, March 03, 2016 - 01:24