A local delegate to the National People’s Congress has said that mainland authorities could upgrade home return permits used by Hong Kong residents in order to make them into identity cards. Ip Kwok-him, also a member of the Hong Kong government’s Executive Council, told an RTHK radio programme that this would provide easier access to public services.
Ip said he did not know when the changes will take place but he believed that – if the mainland is willing to study the matter – it is “very likely” that the upgrade will take place.
The current home return permit cannot be used to buy train tickets, open bank accounts, or access concessions at travel attractions, Ip said.
An upgrade would enhance identity recognition for Hong Kong people, he said, since many public services in the mainland rely on electronic platforms: “Such a type of integration is part of the trend.”
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