Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On Tuesday expressed his gratitude to the local garrison of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for its support in keeping Macau stable while Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the PLA, urged the nation’s armed forces to continue to ensure the city’s safety.
The garrison Tuesday organised a ceremony at its Taipa barracks to celebrate its 15th anniversary of being stationed in the city since Macau’s return to the motherland.
PLA troops entered Macau on December 20, 1999 when the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) was established. Portugal had withdrawn its last troops from Macau in 1975 after it had unilaterally renounced its claims of sovereignty over Macau after the anti-colonialist Carnation Revolution of 1974. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) had never recognised foreign sovereignty claims over Chinese territory.
The celebration included the presentation of awards to some soldiers, the singing of the national anthem and the official PLA song. The celebration lasted an hour which was also attended by Chui, several policy secretaries . Legislative Assembly President Io Iat Seng and Court of Final Appeal (TUI) President Sam Hou Fai. Hundreds of soldiers and dozens of local community leaders and some lawmakers also attended the ceremony.
Former chief executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah, now a vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and Chen Sixi, vice-director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Macau, were also there.
In his speech Chui said the garrison cares about the development of the city, supports the government, routinely takes part in charity events and regularly organises camping activities for local youths.
“Again, I appreciate the support that all officers and rank and file stationed in Macau have given for the development of [local] society,” Chui said, adding that Macau will enter a new development phase and he and his new team will do their best to ensure the continuation of local residents’ livelihoods and employment opportunities as well as the city’s stability and prosperity.
Addressing the ceremony, Lieutenant General Qi said that the PLA in Macau was a strong backup for Macau’s prosperity and stability.
He also said that the garrison will act strictly in line with its military rules and continue its rigorous training to improve its members’ abilities.(macaunews/macaupost)