Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said on Thursday that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will fully implement General Secretary Xi Jinping’s “important thinking and instructions” on Macau and Hong Kong affairs.
Le also pointed out that the MFA will do everything to “safeguard” the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, maintain the “stability and prosperity” of Macau and protect the interests and well-being of the Macau people.
Le made the remarks when addressing a reception to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the Commissioner of the MFA of the People’s Republic China (PRC) in the Macau Special Administration Region (MSAR) at Macau Tower.
Le noted that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC and under the strong leadership of the CPC, the Chinese nation has been making “big strides” toward its rejuvenation. This historical process promises Macau and Hong Kong “an even brighter future”, Le added.
At the same time, however, Le underlined that some “anti-China” elements in the world “do not want to see” China’s development, the success of “One Country, Two Systems”, or a “better life” for the Chinese people. They resort to “all possible means” to “stir up trouble” on issues concerning Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan and others.
Le was quick to add that all Chinese people, including their compatriots in Macau, will be “united as one”, “fight fearlessly, resolutely push back the meddling hands”, firmly uphold the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and “adamantly” defend the sovereign independence and territorial integrity of the country.
Le further stressed that the MFA will firmly “safeguard” the sovereignty, security and development interests of the county and the long-term prosperity and stability of the two SARs.
Le stressed that the MSAR has been making remarkable progress on all fronts, adding that the “One Country, Two Systems” principle is showing “strong vitality” in Macau.
Le noted that 20 years ago the MSAR was established, “ushering” in a new chapter in the history of Macau, adding that thanks to the “care and support” of the central government and the “concerted efforts” by the local government and all Macau compatriots, Macau has achieved rapid economic growth, steadily improved people’s livelihoods, and enjoyed social harmony and stability.
Le pointed out that the last 20 years have seen Macau growing into an international metropolis with robust external exchanges, adding that Macau is playing an active role as a world tourism and leisure centre and the economic and trade cooperation service platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries (PSCs).
Le also noted that Macau is “on course” to become an exchange and cooperation base for the mainstream Chinese culture to co-exist and interact with other cultures.
Moreover, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) are creating more opportunities for Macau’s external exchanges, Le said.
Le stressed that Macau’s remarkable development achievements show that “One Country, Two Systems” is “successful and right”, adding that the principle provides the “fundamental prerequisite and safeguard” for “stability, prosperity and greater development” of Macau and Hong Kong. He stressed that the principle must be “firmly upheld and maintained”.
Le added that the MFA will fully “leverage” its diplomatic resources and strengths to facilitate Macau’s exchanges and cooperation with the rest of the world in the economic and trade area, finance, tourism and culture.
Shen Beili, Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in Macau, stressed that the office is guided by the instructions and arrangements by the central government and the MFA, adding that the office has been fully and faithfully implementing the policies of “One Country, Two Systems”. She also said that the office has been firmly upholding the authority of the nation’s Constitution and the Macau Basic Law.
Shen pointed out that the office, which was established on the same day as the MSAR on December 20, 1999, has been engaged in the same endeavours as the Macau people and witnessed the strong vitality of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle with Macau features.
Over the past two decades, Shen pointed out, the office has been “diligently implementing” the policies of the “One Country, Two Systems” and major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.
Shen pointed out that the office has been working “hand in hand” with the MSAR government and people from all walks of life to embark on the path of international exchanges which serve the needs of the country and bring into full play the advantages of the MSAR.
The career diplomat also said that over the past 20 years, the office has been “resolutely” safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests as well as Macau’s enduring peace and stability.
The office has been supporting the MSAR to make more friends while opposing the interference of any external forces in Macau affairs, never allowing any “anti-China black hands” to touch this “treasured land of the lotus”.
Over the past two decades, the office has been “vigorously” promoting the MSAR’s international exchanges and cooperation. The office supports the MSAR’s development into “One Centre, One Platform and One Base”, facilitated Macau’s involvement in international cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative, and built a “trilateral cooperation” platform between the MSAR, other provinces on the mainland and neighbouring countries, Shen said.
The office has assisted the MSAR government in exchanges with its sister cities and actively introduced international conventions, exhibitions as well as cultural and sports events to Macau.
Macau is currently a member of 120 international organisations, compared with 51 in the past, demonstrating its increasing coverage and depth of external engagements, she said.
Shen also pointed out that MSAR passport holders are now granted visa-free access or visas on arrival in 144 countries and regions, compared with just three two decades ago, adding that Macau people are finding it more “convenient” to travel abroad.
Shen said that office has brought Macau compatriots closer to Chinese diplomacy and Macau-related diplomatic work so as to “foster greater patriotism and a stronger sense of national identity” among the Macau people.
Shen said that since the office was established 20 years ago, it has performed its functions in full accordance with the fundamental rules of the nation’s Constitution and the Macau Basic Law and “forged ahead” for new progress in Macau-related diplomatic work.
According to the Macau Post Daily, she also pointed out that in the face of the “changing international environment”, China has thrived in national development and Macau has taken on “a new look”.
Macau-related diplomacy has made due contributions to the success of the practice of “One Country, Two Systems” principle, Shen said, adding that the principle has played a “positive role” in maintaining “lasting prosperity and stability” in Macau, and explored new approaches in conducting major-country diplomacy with “distinctive” Chinese features.