Hong Kong Lawmakers Approve Funding For HK$66.9 Billion Rail Line

Hong Kong lawmakers on Saturday approved funding of a controversial HK$66.9 billion (US$8.62 billion) rail link that will connect Hong Kong to mainland cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The 26-kilometer Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link railway will help reinforce Hong Kong’s status as a transport, financial and commercial hub of China, the government said earlier.

The government has faced heavy opposition for the project from the public and some lawmakers, who criticized the rail link as being too expensive to build. They said the government haven’t adequately consulted the public before going forward with the multi-billion dollar plan.

The railway will connect downtown Hong Kong with China’s national high-speed rail network. When the rail link is completed, travel time between Hong Kong and Beijing by rail will be reduced to 10 hours from over 30 hours at present, according to the Hong Kong government.

-By Chester Yung, Dow Jones Newswires; 852-2802-7002; [email protected] dowjones.com