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00:00:01
>> Bullet trains from China are about to roll into Hong Kong, a major link across the border that sparked anxiety in the city. The new express service will carry passengers to China's biggest cities in a matter of hours. Some call the $11 billion project the start of a new era.
00:00:19
But many in the former British colony are angry. They say the rail line's giving up part of the city's independence to Beijing because the station and the trains will be under Chinese law. Reuters's James Pomfret is following the story.>> This station is highly controversial. It's smack in the heart of the city of Hong Kong but, for some reason, the authorities have decided to allow China's law enforcement operators to operate in the station, in effect giving away a part of the city to China.
00:00:50
So you've got mainland Chinese police here, you've got immigration officials, and mainland law will apply in parts of the station, which is just a stone's throw from Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor.>> Both Hong Kong and China's governments have said the legal arrangement is a one off. They have sold it as bringing big economic benefits.
00:01:10
But critics say the railway is a symbol of Beijing's tightening grip on the city.>> Hong Kong people cannot accept this arrangement.>> Since pro-democracy protests in 2014, many Hong Kongers say Beijing has ramped up efforts to wind back the city's freedoms. And another major link to China is near completion, a bridge 18 miles long connecting the mainland, Hong Kong, and nearby Macau by road.
00:01:35
>> This bridge is seen as another potential tentacle of control by China. There is a clear economic case for these links, but the way they've gone about it has stoked controversy because they have appeared to have given away something core and fundamental to Hong Kong, which is a part of its autonomy.
00:01:55
>> Hong Kong's express rail link is due to begin carrying passengers into China this week.