Pro-Beijing veteran politician Ip Kwok-him has suggested to Chief Executive Carrie Lam that Hongkongers should be allowed to apply for Chinese resident identity cards.

Ip was one of the members of the Hong Kong delegation of the National People’s Congress who met with Lam on Wednesday to advise her on a policy address to be issued in October.

Ip Kwok-him
Ip Kwok-him.

Ip, also a member of Lam’s Executive Council, urged her to consider measures to increase the “civic awareness” of Hong Kong people.

Currently, most Hongkongers have to apply for a home return permit to enter China and cannot apply for a resident identity card.

“We are Chinese citizens – now that the mainland has [resident] identity cards, shouldn’t Hongkongers have them as well?” he said.

Ip said Hong Kong people cannot buy high speed rail tickets using ticket machines in China because the machines do not recognise their permits, and many facilities in China require resident identity cards to use.

“Of course this should not mandatory. They can have it if they want it,” he said.

He said that construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is almost complete, and urged the government to consider measures that allow the bridge to be used more effectively.

Carrie Lam rail xl link
Photo: Carrie Lam, via Facebook.

For example, he suggested that the Hong Kong government could provide facilities such as elderly homes, parks and hospitals for Hong Kong people in places that the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link can reach directly.

He also said the government should promote patriotic education, as young people have had trouble “recognising their national identity” in the 20 years since the handover.

Ip said Lam did not mention the Express Rail Link’s joint checkpoint arrangement and the disqualification of lawmakers during the meeting.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.