Xia affirms local govt’s ‘pragmatic & proactive approach’

2024-05-15 03:33
BY admin

Xia Baolong, who heads the Hong Kong and Macao Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO), affirmed yesterday “the pragmatic and proactive approach” of the local government, according to statement by the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS) last night. 

Xia, who arrived here on Monday for a seven-day “investigation and research” tour, gave the praise after hearing the work report by the principal officials including Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government at the Praia Grande Government Headquarters yesterday afternoon. 

The senior central government official attended a two-hour meeting with the officials to hear the work report.

According to the GCS statement, Xia “conveyed the message of President Xi Jinping’s goodwill and guidance, which would lead the MSAR Government and the community in planning the direction for [Macau’s] new development stage.

“This fully demonstrated the central authorities’ regard, support and deep affection for the MSAR.” 

The statement quoted Ho as saying that the central authorities have always been concerned about the development of Macau and have introduced – effectively and in a timely manner – various beneficial policies and measures to Macau. 

The statement also said that Xia “recognised the MSAR Government’s efforts in actively innovating, boosting the economy, and enhancing the well-being of the city’s people,” adding that he also noted that “Macau has always put safeguarding national security as a top priority, and continuously enhanced the relevant legal systems and enforcement mechanisms in order to prevent and counteract external interference in Macau’s affairs.” 

Regarding the implementation of the principle of “patriots governing Macau”, Xia underlined that significant and far-reaching achievements have been made, including the successful completion of the amendments to the Law on Safeguarding National Security, the Chief Executive Election Law, and the Legislative Assembly Election Law, the statement said, adding that “these efforts aimed to safeguard better national sovereignty, security, and the country’s development interests.

According to the statement, Ho stressed that Xia had expressed the central authorities’ firm support for Macau in relation to the safeguarding of national security, the promotion of appropriate economic diversification, the further advancement of the development of the Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, the enhancement of people’s livelihoods; the fostering of external exchanges; and the elevation of governance capabilities and governance levels.

Ho also quoted Xia as saying that President Xi was deeply concerned about Macau’s appropriate economic diversification. Xia reaffirmed that Xi continues to urge the MSAR to carry on seizing favourable opportunities, make use of its own advantages, and focus on the further development of the “One Centre, One Platform, One Base” concept which, according to previous announcements by the local and central governments, refers to Macau upgrading itself into a ‘World Centre of Tourism and Leisure,’ a ‘China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Commercial and Trade Service Platform,’ and an ‘exchange and cooperation base with Chinese culture as its mainstream and co-existence of different cultures,’ in order to bolster its appropriate economic diversification and sustainable growth.

According to the statement, Xia quoted President Xi as saying that amid the tide of the country’s strong national development and national rejuvenation, Macau should strive for greater achievements and actively participate in the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), the Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Moreover, Macau should accelerate its integration into the overall development of the country, in order to welcome, based on new achievements, the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the 25th anniversary of Macau’s return to the motherland, and the third anniversary of the establishment of the In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin.

Xia’s fact-finding tour yesterday included, according to a separate GCS statement, meetings in the morning with members of the central and northern district community consultative councils to learn more about community affairs and people’s livelihoods, the statement said. Ho attended both meetings. 

In the afternoon, Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak accompanied Xia on a visit to the National Security Education Exhibition at the Macau Forum in Zape. Later in the day, Xia, accompanied by Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong, visited the Macau Chamber of Commerce for discussions with local businesspeople about various topics, such as the government’s “1+4” development drive. 

According to a previous local government statement, the “1+4” appropriate diversification development strategy aims to enrich Macau’s function as “One Centre” for integrated tourism and leisure, while facilitating the development of four nascent industries, namely: the “Big Health” industry; modern financial services; high and new technology; and convention and exhibition, sport, and the commercial and trade industries.

Xia will continue his visit today, a public holiday celebrating Buddha’s birthday. 

Accompanied by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng (second left front) and Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak (right), Xia Baolong (front, right), director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, smiles while looking at rocket model during his visit to the National Security Education Exhibition at the Macau Forum in Zape yesterday. – Photo: GCS


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