On the second day of a three-day inspection visit to Macau, National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Chairman Zhang Dejiang urged the city to grasp the many opportunities created by the continuous development of the country.
Zhang also urged civil society to teach young people about the nation’s history and culture.
Zhang made the remarks during a symposium Tuesday with civil society representatives at the Macau East Asian Games Dome in Cotai.
Apart from the representatives, members of Zhang’s delegation and senior local officials, as well as central government officials posted to Macau, also attended the meeting. The meeting, chaired by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, had about 120 attendees. His predecessor Edmund Ho Hau Wah was also in attendance.
Ho is a vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
In his speech, Zhang urged everyone in Macau to bear in mind the development guidelines laid down by President Xi Jinping during his visit for the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).
Zhang made three suggestions for the city’s development.
Firstly, Macau should cherish its success in implementing the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Zhang went on to say that Macau’s achievements since its return to the motherland were due to the fact that the local government has strictly complied with the “one country, two systems” principle and the Macau Basic Law. He praised both the local government and civil society for fully understanding that “one country” is the premise and basis of “two systems”.
Zhang pointed out that “one country” is the prerequisite and basis of “two systems”. He also urged Macau people to earnestly implement the central government’s overall jurisdiction over Macau and city’s executive-led system so as to ensure the smooth operation of the system.
Zhang also praised Macau’s civil society for strongly promoting the Macau Basic Law.
Zhang also said local residents have respected and upheld the central government’s overall jurisdiction over the city.
Zhang underlined the checks and balances of power as well as co-operation between Macau’s legislative and executive branches, praising the special administrative region for placing special emphasis on co-operation between the two branches.
Zhang also said those who “love the country and love Macau” have always been the majority of civil society in Macau, adding that “loving the country and loving Macau” has become the “mainstream value” in civil society.
Zhang also said the local government has always put economic development and the improvement of residents’ livelihood first, which, he underlined, has contributed to Macau’s success story as a special administrative region.
Secondly, Zhang said, Macau should ensure a solid foundation for the “one country, two systems” principle.
Zhang went on to say that the “loving the country and loving Macau” maxim should be passed on to the younger generations by teaching them more about the nation’s history and culture, particularly about how the Chinese have gone through difficult times in modern history as well as the nation’s great achievements after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“If the country is good, Macau will also be good”, Zhang added.
Thirdly, Zhang said, Macau should continue to develop itself by integrating with the nation’s development and making good use of its unique advantages.
Zhang reiterated that during his visit to the city he aimed to see how the various support measures by the central government to benefit Macau have been implemented by the local government.
He urged the city to “fully make use of the central government’s preferential policies for Macau and give full play to its unique advantages”.
Zhang said that more and more countries around the world want to jump on China’s economic growth bandwagon. He said that the central government has already “reserved a seat” for Macau residents and that they will not have to “queue to get a seat on the fast train”.
Zhang added that the central government would facilitate the flow of people between Macau and the mainland by streamlining measures for mainlanders’ applications to visit Macau.
Zhang also said that the central government would do whatever it can to support Macau’s development.
Furthermore, Zhang pointed out that Macau has a small population and therefore could not bear the possible consequences of any chaos in the city.
According to the Macau Post Daily in the afternoon, Zhang visited the Women’s General Association of Macau’s Joyful Family Service Centre in the Lago public housing estate in Taipa that is headed by Ho Teng Iat, the Taipa-Houses Museum had a look at the ongoing construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
Construction of the mega-bridge is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Zhang returned to the mainland today after visiting the University of Macau (UM) campus on Hengqin Island.