West Kowloon Station a strong proof of “one country, two system”
Nanfang Media: How do you think we can put the “one country, two system” principle into practice in the process of realizing the Greater Bay area?
Leung: Last week when President Xi Jinping met with a delegation from Hong Kong and Macao, he voiced the hope that Hong Kong and Macao will continue participating in the reform and opening-up of the whole nation with a pioneering spirit. I think it effectively summarized the contributions that Hong Kong and Macao have made and will continue making to the country.
Whilst the 11 cities in the Area are in the same country, 9 are on the mainland with Hong Kong, Macao having different systems, and a total of three different custom administration processes. Thus the exchange of talent, materials, capital and information throughout the 11 cities is not so frequent as in either the Tokyo or San Francisco Bay Areas.
I think we can take full advantage of certain important infrastructure projects including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed Rail, and make it easier to live and work between the 2 SARs and 9 cities in Guangdong.
These all have great relations with innovation in procedures and technology as well as policy. The “one country, two system” principle is ingenious and dynamic. For instance, the fact that passengers can undergo inspection for both the mainland and Hong Kong in West Kowloon Station is a strong proof of the dynamism of the principle. Hong Kong and Macao implement different systems, and they are highly internationalized. This is one of the characteristics of the Area, and also an impetus for the cities in the Area to develop together.