A mainland Chinese man was barred from entering Hong Kong at the mainland port area of the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus last month. He was then transported back to Shenzhen by court officials from the city.

A controversial law was passed by the legislature last year which gave mainland China – as opposed to Hong Kong – jurisdiction over the area. The law empowers mainland officers to enforce mainland law in the area.

Mainland Chinese officers at the mainland port area of the West Kowloon terminus. File Photo: HKFP.

Critics have said that the law cedes land to mainland China. The Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link started operating in September last year.

The case took place in December and involved a man surnamed Zou who was banned from leaving mainland China. It was reported in the Southern Metropolis Daily on Friday.

The report said that, in the morning of December 13 last year, Zou took a high-speed rail train to the West Kowloon station, but was stopped at the border checkpoint at the mainland port area.

The report said officers had notified Shenzhen Longgang District People’s Court, and that Zou was a “person subject to enforcement.”

Southern Metropolis Daily quoted the court as saying that a “person subject to enforcement” can be banned from leaving the border area if they refuse to comply with judgments and rulings of Chinese courts.

But the report did not give details as to who Zou was, or what kind of case or judgment he was subjected to.

The report in the Southern Metropolis Daily on January 4, 2019 over the mainland port area of West Kowloon terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link. Photo: Screenshot.

According to the report, a judge and a bailiff of the Longgang court took a high-speed rail train to West Kowloon’s border checkpoint, and took Zou back to Shenzhen for investigation. The case has been settled, the report said.

“To remind people subject to enforcement who want to try their luck – consider your ‘special identity’ carefully when entering or leaving the border. Want to travel freely? Be a lawful citizen with integrity,” the report cited the Longgang court as saying.

The Southern Metropolis Daily report was re-posted on the website of the Guangdong Province courts on Friday.

October case

Southern Metropolis Daily’s sister outlet, Nanfang+, reported in October that a Hong Kong permanent resident surnamed Lung was taken to Shenzhen from the mainland port area of the station.

Lung was reportedly involved in a civil case in 2015 over a property sale. Shenzhen’s Nanshan court ordered him to return the buyer’s 1 million RMB (HK$1,140,650) deposit, but Lung went missing. The court then asked the mainland immigration authorities to monitor Lung’s movements in-and-out of the country.

On October 27, the mainland border checkpoint at the West Kowloon station notified the Nanshan court that Lung was being held in the mainland port area. The court then sent officers to take Lung to Shenzhen. The report said that Lung agreed to go, paid his dues and was released.

HKFP has reached out to the MTR Corporation, which manages the station, for comment.

Clarification: An earlier version of this report suggested the case last December was the first of its kind. HKFP has updated the report to include details of a similar case last October.

Kris Cheng

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.