Hong Kong Opens Second Phase of Closed Border Area
Hong Kong’s Security Bureau recently released its plans in reducing Hong Kong’s Frontier Closed Area which will be implemented in June and will open up around 710 hectares of land for public access. The will freely allow access to six Hong Kong villages that is only accessible with a permit namely Lutheran New Village, Tak Yuet Lau, Ma Tso Lung, Lok Ma Chau, Liu Pok and Ha Wan.
Established in 1951 the Frontier Closed Area was created to prevent illegal immigrants’ from entering Hong Kong or to conduct any other illegal activities. The area is fenced along the perimeter and serves as a buffer between the borders from the rest of the territory. Vehicles will be given free access to the area after the traffic ban will be lifted but restrictions on several raods will still remain in place.
In 2008, the Hong Kong government announced that the Closed Area will be downsized thourhg three phases to allow maximum free access for locals and tourists while it maintains a minimum closed area for security reasons. The first phase took 740 hectares from the area in 2012 and when combined with the 710 hectares that will be taken out for the second phase the total area will be more than half of the original excluded area that will be opened to the public. Hong Kong will then building new fences along the border patrol roads for border integrity.
The third phase will open in 2016 from Ng Tung River in the northern New Territories which is next to the Shenzhen River. By lifting restrictions it will be more convenient for Hong Kong residents and make room for further development.