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LegCo members begin visit to Shanghai Expo (with photos/Released by the Legislative Council Secretariat)

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

At the invitation of Shanghai Municipal People's Government, the HKSAR Legislative Council (LegCo) Delegation to the Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo) led by the President of LegCo, the Hon Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, began its three-day visit today (May 8). LegCo members also took the opportunity to take the Express Rail Link from Guangzhou to Wuhan and experience the operation of Express Rail Link in China.

The delegation first took the ferry in the morning to Guangzhou Nansha Port and then boarded on the Express Rail Link in Guangzhou South Railway Station. It took about four hours' travelling from Guangzhou to Wuhan. During the journey, members were briefed by Mr Zheng Jian, Chief Planner of Ministry of Railways, on the operation of the Express Rail Link and its latest development on the Mainland. They also exchanged views on the infrastructure of railway system in China. Mr Lam Sai-hung, Chief Engineer of Railway Development Office of the HKSAR, who accompanied the delegation, also introduced the Hong Kong Express Rail Link to members. After arriving in Wuhan, the delegation took a flight in the evening to Shanghai.

The Express Rail Link from Guangzhou to Wuhan is the world's longest and highest speed railway, costing over $130 billion. It started operation on December 26, 2009. This Express Rail Link runs through Hubei, Hunan and Guangdong provinces with a total length of over 1,000 kilometers and with the speed of 350 kilometers per hour. There are 28 daily train pairs everyday with the passenger capacity of about 80,000 everyday.

The President of LegCo and leader of the delegation, the Hon Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, described the Express Rail Link as fast, stable and quiet. He expressed his gratitude to the Shanghai Municipal People's Government for making arrangements for the visit and to the Mainland authorities for the opportunity for members to take the Express Rail Link to get to know more about the operation of the Express Rail Link in China. He said members had benefited from the briefing given by the Mainland railway experts and he believed that this would help members get a better understanding of the operation and latest development of the Express Rail Link on the Mainland.

Deputy leader of the delegation and Chairman of the House Committee, the Hon Miriam Lau Kin-yee said express Rail a most satisfying journey. She pointed out that China had made a lot of emphasis on developing railway infrastructure in the past five to eight years and its technology in this aspect was really up-to-date. She believed that the construction of railway infrastructure in China had played a very important role to its economic success, adding that it was also more environment friendly in using railways than other modes of transportation.

The delegation will visit the Shanghai Expo tomorrow (May 9) to observe the China Pavilion, the Hong Kong Pavilion, the Theme Pavilions, as well as the Japan Pavilion, Saudi Arabia Pavilion and African Joint Pavilion.