News Centre

23 Jun 2008

Developing Boundary Area between Hong Kong and Shenzhen: 2008 Survey Result of Public Opinion

23 Jun 2008

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) releases the results of a research project “Inter-city Competition and Cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in the 11th Five-year Plan Period” today. Funded by the Public Policy Research Grant of The Research Grants Council, Professor Jianfa Shen of the Department of Geography and Resource Management at CUHK is the principal investigator of the project, which has initiated a 2008 public opinion survey among the people in Hong Kong on developing the boundary area between Hong Kong and Shenzhen (see full report at The survey was conducted from 18 to 23 April 2008 by the Telephone Survey Research Laboratory of Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK. The survey covered a random sample of 504 respondents aged 18 or above in Hong Kong with a response rate of 51.7%. At 95% confidence level, the maximum error in percentages by inference is positive or negative 4.37%. The major results are as follows:

(1) Majority of the respondents (76.3%) support developing the boundary area. Residents living in the boundary area and respondents with high and low income levels show more support in developing the boundary area.

(2) Regarding the location for boundary development, 39.1% of the respondents think that the whole boundary area should be developed in phases. The development of Lok Ma Chau River Loop Area (RLA) is supported by as high as 77% of the respondents. For the development direction of the RLA, eco-tourism (32.5%), commerce and trading (24.4%), manufacturing (23.8%), logistics (23.8%) and R&D (23.4%) are preferred. For some potential policy options, 54% of the respondents agree that the government should introduce a special boundary crossing policy to allow free entry of both Hong Kong and Shenzhen residents; but the respondents are conservative to the possible migration policy of allowing mainland workers to work in the RLA with only 33.5% supporting such policy.

(3) With the development of RLA, other boundary areas may also be developed. 82.2% of the respondents support starting a new development area in the north of Sheung Shui. Respondents think that housing (75.6%), high value added and non-polluting industries (85.5%) and a new central business district (60.9%) should be developed at this new development area.

(4) Majority of the respondents (60.4%) think that the government should play a leading role in developing the boundary area. Most respondents agree that the government should introduce preferential policies for such development. 84.9% support the construction of infrastructure in advance and 79.4% support the provision of tax incentives. But only 35.2% are satisfied with the performance of the government in developing the boundary area.

(5) Developing the boundary area may result in environmental and social problems to Hong Kong while it will stimulate the social and economic development of the boundary area. Majority of the respondents agree that developing the boundary area will have impact on the ecological environment (82.7%) and heritage conservation (64.2%). Regarding potential social problems, most respondents agree that the inflow of mainland workers will affect Hong Kong residents’ job opportunities (76.5%) and increase illegal immigration and smuggling activities (66.5%). The government should thus prepare well to deal with the possible negative impacts in developing the boundary area.