The special administrative region government will draft legislation to enact a joint-checkpoint arrangement for the West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link after the top national legislature unanimously endorsed the arrangement on Wednesday.

Political heavyweights and Hong Kong pundits also threw their support behind the arrangement, which features a one-stop customs and immigration clearance process for passengers.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in Hong Kong that the government will submit a draft to the Legislative Council no later than February to allow for the planned third-quarter opening of the Hong Kong section of XRL.

Lam said the joint-checkpoint arrangement is a new thing that arose from implementation of “one country, two systems”; the National People’s Congress Standing Committee decision has given the plan solid constitutional and legal grounds.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (center), Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung (left) and Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan discuss the XRL terminus co-location arrangement with the media at the Central Government Complex on Dec 27, 2017. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

The NPCSC on Wednesday voted to approve a resolution on a joint-checkpoint arrangement at the West Kowloon Station, marking the completion of the second step of the arrangement’s three-step process.

Lam said 98 percent of construction work on the 26-km Hong Kong section of the XRL was complete. Calling the arrangement the optimal solution to give XRL full play in transport, economic and social benefits, Lam said the public supports the arrangement.

The SAR government will strive to pass local legislation before the summer recess of the city’s legislature, Lam said.

Hong Kong’s sole NPCSC member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, who attended the NPCSC session in Beijing, said the joint-checkpoint arrangement is in line with the “one country, two systems” principle, the Constitution and Basic Law.

The arrangement aims to facilitate economic ties between Hong Kong and the mainland, enabling Hong Kong to be further included in the country’s development, Fan said; the arrangement will not affect the governing of SAR and rights and freedoms of its residents.

Supporting the NPCSC decision, Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong legislator Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung said he is confident of the legal basis of the joint checkpoint arrangement.

Lam said the public know the enormous economic benefits XRL will bring to Hong Kong, as well as the convenience it will give to people from the city.