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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Cross-border ties benefiting Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangzhou Province

(18 August 2014)

Increasing degrees of infrastructure integration between border enclaves Hong Kong and Macau and China’s Guangzhou province have potential benefits for the entire region. Connections between Hong Kong, Macau, and the Chinese mainland already exist: Hong Kong has become an important finance, trade, transport, and logistics hub for southern China, even as investment in manufacturing and services from Hong Kong has improved capacity in mainland China. Similarly, Chinese tourism in Macau has supported its casino and construction development. Now, infrastructure projects linking the areas are further cementing these ties.

Bridge projects connecting Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai on the mainland as well as Shenzhen and Zhongshan on the mainland are underway, with completion dates ranging from 2016 to 2021. The construction of an express rail link between Guangzhou and Hong Kong will open in 2017, and a rail connection between Guangzhou and Macau already opened in 2013. Additional improvements include connections to Zhuhai airport (2015), a sea tunnel to Macau (2015) and linkages between the metro systems in Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen (2020). All of these projects promise to drastically cut the transit time between Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. Each has associated planned development in manufacturing, logistics, and finance.

Although trade has been a central aspect of the Pearl River Delta for hundreds of years, cutting transit times across the delta promises to benefit the western side of the delta, where development has lagged in comparison to Shenzhen. These infrastructure improvements may lead to greater regional integration in an area with over 100 million residents.

The Pearl River Delta: Not Just a Tale of Two Cities, 17 July 2014, The Economist,

A Hong Kong Tale of 2 Bridges: Rivalry With Shenzhen Plays Out in Twin Push to Leap Across Pearl River Delta, 2 May 2013, by Jeffrey Ng of The Wall Street Journal,