Vice Premier Wang Yang said Monday that the central government has approved a new Macau-Guangdong border checkpoint, which will include a 450-metre-long covered bridge over the Duck Channel which runs along the Macau-Zhuhai border, Xinhua reported.
According to Xinhua, Wang made the remark during a meeting with Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On.
Wang arrived in Macau Monday in a scheduled Air Macau to attend the two-day triennial Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries as a keynote speaker.
During the meeting with Chui, Wang said that the work of the local government was being recognised by most local residents and the central government also “totally” acknowledged the work of the local government, according to Xinhua.
In his meeting with Chui, Wang “hailed the widely acknowledged success in implementing the ‘one country, two systems’ policy since Macau returned to the motherland 14 years ago,” Xinhua said.
According to Xinhua, Wang also told Chui that the central government had approved the new border crossing and “in principal” agreed that Macau should host next year’s APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting.
The last meeting, which is held biennially, took place in Khabarovsk, Russia last year. Next year will be the 8th meeting of tourism ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum.
Xinhua said Wang told Chui that the local government “should do everything possible to do the two major jobs [APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting and setting-up of the new border crossing] well.”
Wang also encouraged the Macau government to take full advantage of hosting the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries “to forge closer economic ties with the Portuguese-speaking countries to lift Macau’s economic development to a new level.”
The vice-premier said that Macau was the “best place” to hold the forum between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
There are eight nations where Portuguese is an official language.
Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Portugal, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and East Timor have sent high-ranking delegations to the forum, which formally opens this morning. The tiny Atlantic island nation of Sao Tome and Principe is not a formal member because of its “diplomatic” ties with Taiwan.
Wang also said, according to Xinhua, that Macau was at a “crucial stage of its development” and that it was imperative that the local government “continue to promote economic development in an appropriate and diversified manner while deepening economic co-operation between Macau and the hinterland.”
Responding to Wang, Chui said that the government would further develop Macau’s role as a business-service hub for economic and trade relations between the mainland and Portuguese-speaking countries.
The new border checkpoint is a joint initiative by the local government and government of Guangdong province. The project, which needed the central government’s formal approval, was announced by Macau and Guangdong last year.
The Macau government said last year that it had chosen the current location of Nam Yue Supply Market in Ilha Verde to build the facilities for the new checkpoint. The market, which will be demolished to make way for the project, will be moved to the underutilised Zhuhai-Macau Cross-border Industrial Park.
Wang would stay in Macau for two days and he addressed the forum’s opening ceremony at Macau Dome in Cotai.
The forum is organised by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) in Beijing with the help of the local government. Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and Vice Minister Gao Yan also attended the forum.
Wang will also visit the new campus of the University of Macau (UM) on Hengqin Island. He will leave the city today and head to Guangzhou for the Third China-Brazil High-Level Co-ordination and Co-operation Committee Meeting tomorrow. Brazil is one of China’s most important trade, investment and scientific co-operation partners.
Some 200 million of the world’s 240 million Portuguese speakers live in Brazil.
Wang held one-on-one meetings with leaders of the foreign delegations to the forum Monday including Guinea-Bissau’s Transitional Prime Minister Rui Duarte de Barros, Brazil’s Vice President Michel Temer, East Timor’s Deputy Prime Minister Fernando Lasama de Araujo and Portugal’s Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas.
Meanwhile, according to a video recording provided by the Macau Government Information Bureau, Wang told Chui that Premier Li Keqiang regretted that he was unable to attend the forum because he needed to pay an urgent inspection visit to the flood-hit northern province of Heilongjiang.(macaunews)