The Macau government has been authorised by the central government to participate in the nation’s poverty alleviation projects, according to a statement by the Spokesperson’s Office of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government.
The statement is headed “Reciprocating the Nation’s Affection, Supporting Sister Province, Macau SAR Government and Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Macau Joining Hands to Launch Poverty Alleviation Programme in Guizhou”.
The statement pointed out that in line with research and guidelines by the State Council’s Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, Macau’s anti-poverty support measures will target the county of Congjiang in the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture.
The statement underlined that Liaison Office Director Zheng Xiaosong, the central government’s most senior official posted to Macau, and Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On will lead their respective delegations in paying a joint fact-finding trip to the county tomorrow and Wednesday. The two-day visit aims to assess the needs of the county’s most underprivileged residents, the statement said.
During the visit, Zheng and Chui will meet senior officials of Guizhou province and Congjiang county, the statement said, adding that both the local government and the Liaison Office will sign cooperation agreements with the local authorities in Guizhou in the areas of poverty alleviation, health care, human resources training and economic development.
The statement did not say how much the local government plans to spend on its Congjiang poverty alleviation measures.
According to official statistics released earlier this year, the Macau SAR’s financial reserves amount to about half a trillion patacas.
According to the statement, the long-term aim of the joint initiative is to help Congjiang gradually reduce poverty and, at the same time help the county find its own way of promoting sustainable economic development.
The Macau government’s delegation will include Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac and Chui’s chief-of-cabinet, O Lam.
The statement underlined that the anti-poverty drive will be carried out on two levels – governmental and civil society. Consequently, the statement underlined, all sectors of Macau’s civil society will be asked to join the programme, based on the local tradition of loving the country and loving Macau.
The statement underlined that since its return to the motherland in 1999, Macau has been able to rely on the central government’s affection and support. Therefore, the statement said, it’s a duty for Macau to serve the needs of the nation, the implementation of which ought to be carried out with sincerity and thoroughness.
The statement pointed out that Macau has generously supported the nation in difficult situations before, such as in 2008 when the local government donated 100 million yuan to Sichuan for its Wenchuan earthquake relief measures.
Loving the country and loving Macau is Macau people’s “innate sentiment”, the statement said.
The statement stressed that Guizhou is one of the central government’s main targets in its poverty alleviation drive, pointing out that Congjiang has been classified by the authorities as one of the province’s 14 most poverty-stricken areas.
According to the statement, 72,322 residents of the county, or 21.9 percent of its population, were officially classified as poor at the end of last year.
The statement also said that Congjiang has the highest poverty index of Guizhou.
Meanwhile, according to separate statements, the local government hosted a conference on the central government’s poverty alleviation campaign at Macau Dome in Cotai on Saturday.
Liu Fuhe, director of the Policy and Regulations Department of the State Council’s Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, briefed about 400 senior local government officials and community leaders on the central government’s anti-poverty programme.
The local government had invited Liu to deliver the briefing.
Liu stressed that it is central government’s aim to eradicate rural poverty by 2020, according to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) last year.
Liu also briefed the conference participants on President Xi Jinping’s anti-poverty guidelines.
Liu paid a courtesy call on Chui during his visit.