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Sha Tin

沙田
Shing Mun River Promenade
Shing Mun River Promenade
Country  Hong Kong
Region New Territories
District Sha Tin District
New town 1973
Area
 • City 35.87 km2 (13.85 sq mi)
Population
 (2010)
 • City 630,000
 • Urban
630,000
Demonym(s) Shatinian
Time zone UTC+8 (Hong Kong Time)
Mean solar time   UTC+08
Sha Tin
HK Shatin Magistrates Courts 2008.jpg
Lek Yuen Bridge over
Shing Mun River in Sha Tin central
Chinese 沙田
Literal meaning Sandy Field
Lek Yuen
Traditional Chinese 瀝源
Literal meaning Source of Trickling
Shatin New Town
Traditional Chinese 沙田新市鎮
Literal meaning Shatin New Town

Sha Tin, also spelt Shatin, is a satellite town along Shing Mun River in Sha Tin District of East New Territories, Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Sha Tin District. It is one of Hong Kong's most prominent examples of new town developments in the 1970s. Together with its satellite town Ma On Shan, Shatin is the most populous city in the New Territories, with a 2011 population census of 630,273 within an area of 35.87 km2 (13.85 sq mi). Situated in the southern half of New Territories East below Tolo Harbour, it is the principal city of Sha Tin District, which is the second most populous district of the territory.

The city was founded in 1973 under the New Towns Development Programme of the Hong Kong government. Its current name was named after the nearby village of Sha Tin Wai. Housing the industrial area of Fo Tan, Shatin's economy once heavily relied on manufacturing, logistics and transportation. Since the late 1990s, it has undergone an extensive transition into areas such as business, service, tourism, entertainment, culture, education, sports, technology and scientific research. This has been marked by the building of Sha Tin Racecourse, Hong Kong Sports Institute and the Hong Kong Science Park in its outskirts.

Geography

ShaTin-ShingMunRiver-EarlyStageOfDevelopment
Sha Tin New Town under development in the late 1970s.

Sha Tin is located in a valley, on both sides of the Shing Mun River, running from the southwest to the northeast. It is bordered by Tai Wai in the southwest and by Fo Tan (left bank) and Shek Mun (right bank) in the northeast.

Cross-border activities

Due to their proximity to the Shenzhen border, towns in the northern parts of Hong Kong, notably Sheung Shui and Yuen Long, have become hubs for parallel traders who have been buying up large quantities of goods, forcing up local prices and disrupting the daily lives of local citizens. Since 2012, there has been an increase in mainland parallel traders arriving in the North District of Hong Kong to re-export infant formula and household products – goods popular with mainlanders – across the border to Shenzhen. The volume of smuggling activity spilled over into Tuen Mun and Sha Tin in 2014.

The first anti-parallel trading protest was started at Sheung Shui in September 2012. As government efforts to limit the adverse impact of mainland trafficking were widely seen as inadequate, so there have been further subsequent protests in towns in the North District including Sha Tin.

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