Saturday, 11 April 2015

Breakthrough at Last

Anger against parallel traders have escalated to protests and pepper spray
Finally after years of complaints that have led to protests and physical altercations, the Shenzhen municipal government has announced today that permanent residents visiting Hong Kong will be limited to one a week.

It is predicted this latest measure, that has yet to be announced when it will be implemented, will cut the number if visits by this group of people by 30 percent and crackdown on rampant parallel trading.

A notice circulated on the internet said that an urgent meeting had been held in Shenzhen at 11am on Saturday on a decision by the State Council to approve an "adjustment" in the number of trips a multiple-entry permit holder could make to Hong Kong.

The online announcement was confirmed by both Shenzhen police and Hong Kong government sources.

Parallel traders will have to reduce their visits to Hong Kong
If a multiple-entry permit holder fails to visit Hong Kong in a single week, the quota could not be used for future visits, so the maximum number of visits each year is 52.

The Hong Kong government said it had submitted the proposal to the central government to adjust the multiple-entry policy a few months ago. "Any adjustment to the policy is pending the central government's announcement," it said in a statement.

It is a relief to hear this is finally happening, though this proposal should have been submitted a few years ago when some Hong Kong people began calling mainlanders "locusts" for snapping up all kinds of goods to take home.

We have to wonder if the Hong Kong government thought this tension would blow over, or was in denial this problem would escalate to skirmishes with both police and parallel traders. Or did was Beijing not interested in entertaining this request?

Nevertheless we're glad someone is finally listening and will soon implement what we hope will be the beginning of other measures to reduce tensions between mainlanders and locals in the city.

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