China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Macau on Wednesday to attend a gathering marking the 20th anniversary of Macau’s return to China and the inauguration of the Macau Special Administrative Region’s fifth-term government.
“We will join hands to draw the blueprint for Macau’s future development,” Xi said after arriving at Macau’s airport, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
“The achievement and progress that Macau has made after returning to the motherland has made people feel proud,” the president declared .
Xi said Macau, which was run by the Portuguese until December 1999, had been serious about implementing one country, two systems with its own characteristics.
In his four-minute speech, Xi urged Macau residents to work together for the city’s future development.
Xi’s visit, his longest official trip to Macau, will include meetings with government officials and business representatives, as well as the swearing-in of Macau’s newly chosen Beijing-backed leader, Ho Iat Seng, on Friday.
Macau returned to Chinese rule on Dec. 20, 1999, with the “one country, two systems” formula aimed at preserving autonomy.
.“The central government and the Chinese people are proud of the achievements and progress,” Xi said, according to Xinhua.
Flags and red congratulatory banners fluttered along roads and over buildings around the city in preparation for the anniversary celebrations on Friday.
After arrival Chinese President met with outgoing Chief Executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) Chui Sai On, saying the central government fully acknowledged Chui’s diligent work during his 10 years as the chief executive.
Xi, during the meeting, said Chui has led the SAR government to fully and faithfully implement the principle of “one country, two systems,” and strictly abide by the Constitution and the Basic Law to govern the SAR in a steady and pragmatic manner over the past decade, making a great number of new achievements, and consolidating and promoting prosperity and stability in Macau.
“The central government fully acknowledges your work,” Xi told Chui.
The president expressed the hope that Chui will continue to care about the development of the country and Macau, actively support the new chief executive and the SAR government in their law-based governance, and continue to make contributions to the practice of “one country, two systems.”
Chui said he was sincerely grateful to Xi and the central government for their care for Macau as well as their trust in and support for himself.
With the strong support of the central authorities, the Macau SAR government and people from all walks of life have in recent years made earnest efforts in advancing Macau’s prosperity and stability while developing an appropriately diversified economy, Chui said.