Editorial﹕Greater Bay Area: Hong Kong must be proactive

【明報專訊】IN the seminar on port clearance convened last week, the Shenzhen municipal government expressed its intention to reassign the seven ports to new functions. Under the proposed plan, the Liantang / Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point to the East and Shenzhen Bay Port to the West will be responsible for freight services only, while freight services at Huanggang Port, Man Kam To Control Point and Sha Tau Kok Control Point will be phased out, and the ports will handle tourist entries into and exits from Shenzhen only in the future. It has even proposed to implement a mechanism for carrying out only one clearance procedure between two border checkpoints, arousing concern from Hong Kong society. Asked about such extraordinary policy adjustments by the media, Hong Kong officials responsible for such matters were stumped for words, only saying that such a proposal had been put forward by the Shenzhen authorities, and that reporters "should ask them that question". More than three months after the release of the development plan for the Greater Bay Area, the HKSAR government has merely advertised how Hong Kong people can go northward to start a business or live there. But it has done nothing to explain Hong Kong's positioning in the Greater Bay Area or make any proposals for the planning of the Greater Bay Area as a whole, failing miserably to show leadership when it is supposed to be the leader of the area. Now it has given such a vague response to such a matter of great import as the reassignment of the ports. Such being the case, it will be inevitable for Hong Kong to be a passive player in the planning of the Greater Bay Area.