President Xi Jinping on Thursday commended the historic achievements made by Macau in economic and social development.
Macau’s economy registered the fastest growth and livelihoods witnessed the biggest improvement in its history over the past two decades, Xi said in a speech delivered at a welcome banquet marking the 20th anniversary of Macau’s return to the motherland. The banquet held at the East Asian Games Dome was attended by about 600 guests.
“The past 20 years are also a period that saw Macau compatriots share the great motherland’s dignity and enjoy the greatest sense of glory,” said Xi.
Macau’s historic achievements shall be attributed to the thorough implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, strong support from the central government and the mainland, the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) government’s active performance of its duties and concerted and strenuous efforts of people from all walks of life in Macau, Xi said.
‘Masters of their own house’
“I have deeply felt the fast changes in Macau since my last visit here five years ago. Macau compatriots, as masters of their own house, are in high spirits. The MSAR’s steps forward are firm and strong,” he said.
Xi has paid six working visits to Macau since 2000.
Xi praised the MSAR government and the people of Macau for combining the requirements of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle with Macau’s conditions and for their courage to explore and innovate.
He said the Macau practice of “One Country, Two systems” has new commendable aspects: “Loving the motherland and loving Macau” becoming a core value of the whole community, the authority of the Constitution and the Basic Law being firmly upheld, the executive-led system functioning smoothly, Macau actively integrating itself into the national development, and social inclusiveness and harmony creating great power to unite the people of Macau.
Nation’s tremendous transformation
Xi said the Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation: it has stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong.
“This is an era of great development and great achievements for the Chinese nation and also an era of common prosperity and common progress for Macao and the mainland,” he said.
Xi expressed his firm belief that the practice of “One Country, Two Systems” with Macau characteristics will surely achieve greater success, with Macau compatriots making greater contributions to the realization of national rejuvenation.
Outgoing Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On in his speech said “the most valuable” experience in Macau’s successful practice of “One Country, Two Systems” is “the full and accurate implementation of the Constitution and the Basic Law.” Thursday was Chui’s last day at the helm of the local government.
The key is to accurately understand and wholeheartedly uphold the political system and core values of the country, Chui said.
Hosted by the MAR government, the banquet was also attended by National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Vice Chairman Ho Hau Wah, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Executive-designate Ho Iat Seng and leading officials of the local government, senior mainland officials and representatives of all walks of life in Macau. Ho Iat Seng will be sworn in by Xi as Macau’s fifth-term chief executive at the East Asian Games Dome this morning, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the MSAR.