Macau’s last Portuguese governor Vasco Rocha Vieira has told Xinhua that political stability is vital for Hong Kong’s development, as well as its well-being.
The “Occupy Central” movement has undermined the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and seriously damaged people’s interests, Rocha Vieira said in an interview with Xinhua last week.
Rocha Vieira expressed concern about the recent movement in Hong Kong. However, the 75-year-old retired general said he was certain the problems will be resolved through peaceful dialogue and discussion.
“Political stability is very important to promote growth and the well-being of its population. If there continues to be agitation and violence, Hong Kong will see its stability and development, citizens’ normal life and the international image impaired,” he said.
Rocha Vieira also said he believed that Hong Kong has all the necessary conditions to tackle the issues at stake in a peaceful and understanding manner.
“Expressing different opinions is freedom. Freedom is only reserved when we respect each other through dialogue and mutual understanding,” he said, adding that only dialogue, mutual understanding and the prudent way of thinking in Chinese culture can help resolve problems.
Rocha Vieira added: “Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. There is national sovereignty. So there must be harmony and respect.”
Rocha Vieira spoke highly of Hong Kong’s great development and autonomy after its return to China in 1997. He also said it was important for Hong Kong to continue to play an important role as a gateway to mainland China and as an international financial center.
Rocha Vieira served as Macau’s Portuguese governor from 1991 to 1999 when Portugal returned the city to Chinese administration.
“The idea of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is a great and original ideal,” he said. “Macau was given a great level of autonomy, only possible within this idea of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. China has respected Macau’s autonomy, its freedoms and its population’s way of life.”
Rocha Vieira, who now heads the Council on Old Military Orders, added: “Macau has experienced strong economic growth, social development and political stability.” The ex-governor also said that Macau’s development was a good example to prove the great success of the “One Country, Two Systems” policy.(Macaunews/Xinhua)