(Macao - 27 May 2023) The Vice Chairman of the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and Director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Mr Xia Baolong, yesterday concluded his four-day visit to the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) and returned to Beijing.
After witnessing the departure of the senior state official, the Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, met local reporters and expressed deep gratitude to Mr Xia for his visit to Macao, which stood as testimony to the Central Government's support for the MSAR.
The MSAR Government is committed to driving the region's sustainable development on all fronts. This is in accordance with President Xi Jinping's guidance, which was stipulated in his earlier speeches on Macao, and with the major strategies outlined at the 20th National Congress, said Mr Ho.
The MSAR Government would also strive for improvements in the six key areas of governance that were highlighted by Mr Xia during his visit, he added.
During yesterday’s press conference at the Government Headquarters, the Chief Executive noted that Mr Xia was impressed during his stay in Macao by the region’s breakthroughs in the implementation of the ‘One country, two systems’ principle. Mr Xia was also moved by Macao people’s patriotism, which was being carried forward from one generation to the next.
Earlier in his visit, Mr Xia laid out six requirements for the MSAR Government: making greater progress in fully, accurately and unswervingly upholding the ‘One country, two systems’ principle; enhancing work related to safeguarding national security; doubling efforts on the development of patriotic forces in Macao; bolstering Macao’s economic diversification; pressing ahead with the development of Hengqin; and striving for overall improvement in governance. He hoped that the Macao SAR could continue to enrich its work of implementing the ‘One country, two systems’ principle, in order to play a greater role in the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Commenting on Mr Xia’s expectations of the MSAR Government, the Chief Executive told reporters that, for Macao, economic diversification was not one option among many: it was the only way forward for the region. Thus, the MSAR Government would join hands with all sectors in society to overcome any hurdles that might lie ahead, in order to achieve economic diversification.
Mr Ho pointed out that Mr Xia took part in more than 30 events and activities during his four-day visit to Macao, and met with representatives from the executive, legislative and judicial branches as well as the Macao security forces. The senior state official also had exchanges with Macao’s deputies to the National People’s Congress and CPPCC delegates, as well as representatives from local community organisations, the business sector, the legal profession, the financial sector, the science and technology sector, the education sector, and youth associations.
Mr Xia visited various districts, and various public institutions of Macao, and also made a brief stop at the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, to get a better understanding of developments relating to youth entrepreneurship, the Macao New Neighbourhood project, traditional Chinese medicine, and customs clearance.
During his fruitful trip to Macao, Mr Xia was able to hear the opinions of the general public and to encourage the people of Macao to work together for the great rejuvenation of the nation.
The Chief Executive said the MSAR Government was acutely aware of the attention the Central Government paid to Macao’s economic development and improvement in its people’s well-being. The Central Government’s support would be the driving force behind the MSAR Government’s persistent effort to press ahead with the “1+4” strategy of economic diversification. This would make full use of the opportunities offered by the Cooperation Zone, and give full play to Macao’s positioning as “One centre, one platform, one base”, which involved strengthening ties with countries along the “Belt and Road” as well as Portuguese-speaking countries, and bolstering regional cooperation for better integration into national development. These elements would help create a better living environment for the people of Macao.
Meanwhile Mr Ho was grateful for Mr Xia’s recognition of Macao’s work in safeguarding national security. He pledged that the MSAR Government would continue to enhance legislation related to that area, and improve the enforcement mechanism of the law on the safeguarding of national security.
He added that the MSAR Government would rally the support of all sectors of society in upholding the Constitution and the Macao Basic Law, and would steadfastly adhere to the principle of ‘patriots governing Macao’. The Government would also continue to strengthen the coalition of patriotic forces in Macao and pass on the patriotic tradition to the younger generation.
He said the MSAR Government would strive for progress in various areas, in order to lay a solid foundation for celebration next year of the 25th anniversary of Macao’s return to the motherland. His administration would do its best to repay the Central Government’s support and meet its expectations.
During the press conference, the Chief Executive also answered reporters’ questions regarding various issues, including the safeguarding of national security, economic diversification, and the importation of additional talent for various industries.