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Mainland visitor plan shelved: HK chief executive


16:15, September 08, 2012

HONG KONG, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung said Friday that Mainland authorities have agreed they would go ahead with a plan to relax visa restrictions for its non- permanent residents only after liaising with the city's government.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Leung said the measure is mainly to ensure the healthy development of Hong Kong's tourism and its related industries, and to minimize the impact on Hong Kong residents' livelihood, in particular people in the North District.

He said the Hong Kong government will closely monitor the situation. It is important for both sides to come to a consensus in setting up a mechanism to assess Hong Kong's capacity to receive visitors, he added.

The Central Government is concerned and supports taking into consideration Hong Kong's capacity to receive visitors while relaxing visa restrictions for Mainland residents.

In assessing Hong Kong's capacity to receive visitors, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said they would consider factors such as the number of permits Mainland authorities had issued, the performance pledge to clear visitors within 30 minutes, and the size of crowds at tourist spots.

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