Chung Ying Street, Yantian District, Shenzhen, China
Add: Shatoujiao Town, Yantian District, Shenzhen
Take bus No. 103, 103B, 53, 85, 202, 205, 238, 239, 308, 358, 363, 364, 387, and J1 to “Shatoujiao Sanjia shop”, and then walk 900 meters towards Chung Ying Street.
Chung Ying Street, located in Shatoujiao Town governed under Shatoujiao Street, Yantian District, Shenzhen, is 250 meters long and 3-4 meters wide. It used to be a small brook beside a little fishing village beneath Wutong Mount, but now became a side street as the years passed by. Chung Ying Street is a result of the British colonialist invasion in the middle of 19th century. Demarcated by 8 landmarks, on side of the street belonged to Shenzhen, and the other was dominated by Hong Kong. Chung Ying Street is now a patriotism education base of Guangdong Province. As one of the eight views of Shenzhen, it is not only Shenzhen’s unique duty-free business street in two systems, but also a border specially managed area.
Chung Ying Street is the special zone in the SAR. Anybody (except Shatoujiao residents) wants to enter Chung Ying Street has to handle “Special Pass” issued by frontier defense authority.
How to enter Chung Ying Street:
1. Residents of Shenzhen census register can apply for “the Pass of Border Specially Managed Area” at Certificate Center of Guangdong Frontier Defence Bureau with the original of their valid “Resident Identity Card”, so as to pass the customs.
2. Residents of other cities can apply for “the Pass of Border Specially Managed Area” at Certificate Center of Guangdong Frontier Defence Bureau with the certificates from reception units, if they have, to pass the customs.
3. Other people can apply for “the Pass of Border Specially Managed Area” under united arrangement by Shatoujiao Travel Co. Ltd. with the original of their valid “Resident Identity Card”, and collectively pass the customs.
Chung Ying Street (Chinese: 中英街; pinyin: Zhōngyīng Jiē; Cantonese Yale: jùng yìng gaài) is a street on the border between Hong Kong and mainland China, within the border town of Sha Tau Kok/Shatoujiao. One side of the street belongs to Hong Kong, and the other side the mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen.
In Cantonese, Chung means China and Ying England or the United Kingdom. The name is a mark of history of the Second Convention of Peking, a treaty that China under Qing was forced to lease New Territories to Britain in 1899.
The street was a river in 1899. British use the high water mark as the border. The river was too shallow at the section of Sha Tau Kok. It dried before the coming of World War II. The residents on both dried river sides then erected their shops to trade. The dried river then renamed to Chung Hing Street (中興街), and later renamed to Chung Ying Street. The town of Sha Tau Kok flourished for that period of time. After World War II, with large influx of refugees from mainland China, British decided to close the border and the town fell into the Closed Area. The border town declined since then.
Chung Ying Street was once a famous place for shopping. In the 1990s, when China is still closing to the world, the tourists from the mainland visit to buy foreign goods, majorly watches, clothes and the jewelry. However, the prosperity has declined in the last few years due to the policy that most people can apply to visit Hong Kong directly. Nowadays, Chung Ying Street is transforming to a sight-seeing place of its history. In fact, the mainland government has built a museum introduce the history of Chung Ying Street and strike to attract tourists again.
Policing Chung Ying Street (Offbeat Article)
Sha Tau Kok Village’s Chung Ying Street is one of the most unique thoroughfares in the world. It is an open boundary without any physical barriers – no fence, no wall, no barbed wire. With its many shops and restaurants and community living adjacent to it, the northern side of the street is part of Shenzhen, the southern side is part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). For officers attached to Sha Tau Kok Division, policing Chung Ying Street is a formidable and complicated task.
The Sino-British Agreement in 1898 split Sha Tau Kok Village but allowed indigenous villagers of both sides freedom of movement across the Sino-British boundary – now the Shenzhen-Hong Kong boundary – at Chung Ying Street. The boundary is designated solely by a few marker stones.
Before implementation of the “Open Door” policy in the mainland in the 1980s, both sides exercised strict control over cross-boundary activities of the street. Economic developments in the mainland have since contributed to the relaxation of control by authorities within the Sha Tau Kok Township, the enclosed area on the Shenzhen side of the Chung Ying Street separated from the rest of Sha Tau Kok by the entry point of the Township. Meanwhile, Chung Ying Street has become a sightseers’ mecca on a daily basis attracting as many as 70,000 mainland tourists.
But along with the booming tourist trade came businessmen and employment seekers from outside the Township to capitalise on the “Open Door” policy and ensuing business opportunities creating a lot of problems relating to hawking and touting, smuggling, unlawful import and export of goods and illegal employment.
In addition to normal everyday policing, the management of Chung Ying Street is a formidable and complicated task,” said the Sha Tau Kok Divisional Commander, Ms Gillian Lam Wai-man. “The openness of the boundary, together with the proliferation of shops on both sides of the street/boundary and a community living adjacent to it, has created a lot of problems – many unique. As a matter of legacy, the indigenous villagers on both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen sides of Sha Tau Kok Village have freedom of movement across Chung Ying Street. This has made managing the ‘Open Boundary’ more difficult than along other parts of the boundary. We have to perform our role in maintaining the integrity of the boundary without overly interfering with these legitimate boundary-crossers and we have to strike a balance.”
Continued Ms Lam: “Against such an historical background, officers guarding Chung Ying Street must be vigilant in order to identify legitimate boundary-crossers from illegitimate ones. We must constantly reduce the crowds to a manageable level to minimise IIs or other criminals from taking advantage.”
The consequences of Chung Ying Street police lowering their guard can be very significant. “The officers here are the frontline in terms of keeping the boundary intact. By its very nature, Chung Ying Street almost lends itself to illegal activities and has great potential to be a soft spot for criminals to sneak into the HKSAR” said Ms Lam.
The difficulties of policing at Chung Ying Street are compounded because it is not a gazetted boundary crossing point. “Unlike those in Lo Wu, Man Kam To, or Lok Ma Chau, there is no continual presence of other government agencies to control the movement of people or goods. Officers on guard at Chung Ying Street are frequently faced with duties that are obviously the jurisdiction of other government departments,” said Ms Lam.
“In 1996, for example, 2,511 kilograms of raw, uninspected meat was seized in a single case at Chung Ying Street. In the absence of other enforcement agencies, discharging these duties are necessary to discourage such abuses and ultimately make the management of the boundary a less formidable task.”
Over the years police at Chung Ying Street have seized such controlled items and contraband as drugs, live chickens, pirated CDs and, as of May for this year alone, a quantity of false trade mark clothes and imported garments without licence valued at over $4.5 million. The by-products of such protected animal species as pangolins, owls, eagles and tigers have also been, and continue to be seized. At the height of the Bird Flu scare, when live poultry was prohibited from being sold in Hong Kong’s markets, Chung Ying Street police were continually preventing boundary-crossers from smuggling chickens into the HKSAR.
“Although the openness of the boundary at Chung Ying Street looks vulnerable in terms of policing it, there are remedial measures in place to make up for the lack of physical barriers,” Ms Lam noted. “These include the setting up of police posts at Choi Yuen Kok (the back door of Chung Ying Street), Sha Lan Ha (a post close to the sea), and Shek Chung Au (the only land route for entry into Sha Tau Kok where all public transport vehicles are routinely checked). The divisional police also mount patrols inside and outside the Chung Ying Street area.”
Close liaison between Hong Kong Police and the Sixth Brigade of the People’s Armed Police has also helped reduce the number of illegal immigrants attempting to sneak into Sha Tau Kok Township. The number of pregnant IIs attempting to use Chung Ying Street to enter Hong Kong, for example, has dropped significantly from 154 in 1991 to 15 in the first five months this year.
Still (come rain or shine, damp winter chill or summer heat and humidity), Hong Kong Police standing guard at Chung Ying Street remain ever vigilant in their verification of the identity of boundary-crossers, in their search for controlled items or contraband and in their management of the crowds.
“Our officers do an excellent job, and divisional and district management have been striving to improve their physical working conditions – because they deserve it,” said Ms Lam. “Among other things, we’re arranging a permanent overhead shelter to be constructed at Chung Ying Street post to protect officers from the weather.”
Police Report No.10
Issued by PPRB
End/1700 Hrs, Wednesday, June 10, 1998. (PP)
Shenzhen Post Rebecca Contributes to the Story.
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