New checkpoint linking Macao, Zhuhai opens

Writer:   |  Editor: Jane Chen  |  From: Xinhua  |  Updated: 2020-08-19

Customs officers carry out inbound inspection of travelers at Hengqin Checkpoint, Zhuhai City, yesterday. China News Service

A new checkpoint to facilitate travel between Macao and Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, was officially put into use yesterday, a new step to boost development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Dubbed a "super passage," the main working area of Hengqin Checkpoint has a total floor area of 450,000 square meters, equivalent to 63 football fields. It has a designed daily capacity of 222,000 passengers, which can help ease the pressure of Gongbei Checkpoint and increase the daily capacity for passenger flow between Guangdong and Macao.

Gongbei Checkpoint has long been the main passenger channel between Zhuhai and Macao. In 2019, a total of 145 million passengers crossed the port, ranking it first in China for eight consecutive years.

However, Gongbei Checkpoint has been running far beyond its designed capacity, thus resulting in a series of issues such as prolonged waiting time and slow customs clearance procedures.

As a flagship project of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hengqin Checkpoint significantly simplified clearance procedures.

"The opening of the checkpoint port will further enhance interconnectivity of Guangdong and Macao, provide more convenient, fast and considerate services for personnel, economic and trade exchanges, inject new impetus into the development of Hengqin New Area, and lay a solid foundation for deepening the Guangdong-Macao cooperation and advancing the building of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area," said Ma Xingrui, governor of Guangdong.

The checkpoint has adopted a brand-new working pattern between Guangdong and Macao, further enriching the connotation of "one country, two systems," according to Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Ho Iat Seng.

Chinese authorities in February 2019 unveiled the development outline for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, aiming to build the region into a role model of high-quality development. The Greater Bay Area consists of Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities of Guangdong.