Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On and his delegation held “very positive” meetings with central government officials in Beijing about new border-crossing facilities and flood-prevention measures, the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS) said in a statement.
The statement paraphrased by Chui and two of his senior officials during a press briefing in the capital after the meetings.
According to the statement, the local government will work closely with the provincial government of Guangdong and other entities to ensure that the central government can approve a new Macau-Zhuhai border crossing as soon as possible.
The government said earlier that the new border checkpoint would include a footbridge across the “Duck Channel,” a heavily polluted stream that marks the border between Macau and Zhuhai.
The statement said the meetings also aimed to help the local authorities prevent high-tide floods affecting the Macau peninsula’s old quarters.
Chui was quoted as saying he had also raised plans to launch a Macau-Guangdong cross-border driving scheme and to operate Macau-Guangdong border checkpoints on a 24-hour basis.
Currently, the Barrier Gate checkpoint is closed between midnight and 7 a.m. The Cotai-Hengqin border checkpoint is also closed at night as is the ferry link between Macau’s Inner Harbour and Zhuhai’s Wanzai port.
Chui stressed that the cross-border driving scheme was neither urgent nor a matter of priority.
The statement quoted Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io as saying that the two sides were studying the feasibility of preventing high-tide floods affecting the city’s low-lying old quarters by building a higher embankment and reclaim land in the Inner Harbour.
Macau Customs Service Director-General Choi Lai Hang was quoted as saying that the mainland authorities and local government had reached a consensus on streamlining customs procedures by setting up a “new model for customs formalities.”
Chui and his entourage are scheduled to return to Macau from their three-day working trip today.(macaunews)