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-Supporting efforts by the HKSAR and the mainland in cross-border infrastructure construction and facilitation for personnel and cargo customs clearance. The Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor, which opened to traffic in 2007, has become the fourth land passage linking Hong Kong with the mainland. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the construction of which started in 2009 and scheduled for completion in 2016, will connect Hong Kong in the east and Zhuhai and Macau in the west, and will become a new road transport corridor linking eastern and western banks of the Pearl River. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-Speed Railway, when completed, will connect Hong Kong with China's national high-speed rail network. As things stand now, the mainland and Hong Kong have achieved full mutual recognition of inspection results at all land and water ports. In 2013, a total of 40.75 million mainland residents visited Hong Kong, which was 17.3 times that of 1997; while 76.88 million Hong Kong residents visited the mainland, up from 39.77 million in 1997.
-Supporting the HKSAR in strengthening exchanges and cooperation with the mainland in education, science and technology, culture and some other fields. The central government has supported universities of Hong Kong and the mainland in enrolling students from each other; supported cooperation in academic affairs between institutions of higher learning of Hong Kong and the mainland, and supported teaching staff and students from the two sides in carrying out exchange activities. It has supported Hong Kong's institutions of higher learning, research bodies and the science and technology parks in Hong Kong in setting up Partner Labs of Key State Laboratories, the Hong Kong branch of the National Engineering Research Center and the National High-tech Industrialization Base; supported Hong Kong universities in establishing research institutes in Shenzhen; supported Hong Kong science workers and institutions in applying for projects under China's National Research Program; and endeavored to make the country's key sci-tech projects more accessible to Hong Kong. In 2005, the mainland and Hong Kong signed the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Cultural Ties Arrangement Agreement, launching overall cooperation in cultural conservation, and industrial development and exchanges. The central government supported Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong in jointly and successfully including the Yueju opera in the UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009; and supported Hong Kong's successful bid to list its Geopark in Sai Kung as part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network in 2011. It has also supported Hong Kong in joint production of films with the mainland; since the signing of the CEPA, Hong Kong and the mainland have worked together in producing 322 films, accounting for 70 percent of mainland's total in such area. The central government has supported Hong Kong in cooperating with the mainland in sports personnel exchanges, training and some other aspects. It invites Hong Kong athletes to take part in National Games and other events. It has also supported exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in the development of traditional Chinese medicine, health care management, notification and prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, notification and cooperation in cases of public health crises, etc.
-Supporting the HKSAR government in establishing exchange and cooperation mechanisms with relevant departments of the central government. The HKSAR government has established a number of exchange and cooperation mechanisms at different levels and covering different areas with relevant departments of the central government to coordinate and promote related work. For example, the two sides established the CEPA Joint Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the CEPA, solve problems, and supplement and amend the CEPA; and cooperation mechanisms in the areas of entry-and-exit control, customs, inspection and quarantine, finance, public health, tourism and other fields, to promote communication, jointly handle emergencies and combat illegal activities. In addition, the central government established a Joint Inter-ministerial Conference System for the Promotion of Qianhai, Nansha and Hengqin, to strengthen guidance, coordination and services for the development and building of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, Nansha New District in Guangzhou and Hengqin New District in Zhuhai; and the HKSAR government is a member of this system. These mechanisms have played a positive role in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland, and in handling related issues of regional development and governance of common concern.
4. Ensuring Secure and Stable Supplies of Basic Necessities to the HKSAR
Because of the limitations of its natural environment, Hong Kong mainly relies on the mainland for the supply of fresh water, vegetables, meat and other basic necessities. Since the early 1960s, when the mainland opened "three express trains" to supply Hong Kong with fresh and frozen goods, and started the Dongjiang-Shenzhen Water Supply Project, the central government and the relevant local governments on the mainland have made great efforts to ensure the supply of foodstuff, agricultural and sideline products, water, electricity, natural gas, etc., to the HKSAR. By the end of 2013, some 95 percent of live pigs, 100 percent of live cattle, 33 percent of live chicken, 100 percent of freshwater fish, 90 percent of vegetables and 70 percent or more of flour on the Hong Kong market had been supplied by the mainland. The first pass yield of foodstuff supplied by the mainland to Hong Kong has maintained at a fairly high level. In 2013, in accordance with the revised agreement, Guangdong supplied Hong Kong with 606 million cu m of fresh water. From 1994, the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant started to supply Hong Kong with electricity, and now its annual power supply accounts for a quarter of the annual power consumption of Hong Kong. In 2013, the mainland supplied Hong Kong with 2.531 billion cu m of natural gas. (more)
Xinhua is China's state-run news agency.
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