MACAU -- Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, one of America's wealthiest people,
dismissed critics of China on Thursday, saying the Chinese are living a good
life and the United States shouldn't try to police the entire world.
The capitalist from Las Vegas defended the world's most
populous country as he checked on the progress of a US$2.3 billion casino resort
he is building in Macau on China's southeastern coast. The tiny city is the only
place in China where casino gambling is legal.
Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las
Vegas Sands Corp, speaks during a ground breaking ceremony for the
Shangri-La Hotel, Traders Hotel, Sheraton Hotel and St. Regis Hotel at the
construction site of the Cotai Strip in Macau Thursday, March 1, 2007.
Adelson, ranked No. 3 of Forbes magazine's list of the richest Americans,
noted that many people, especially Congress members, like to criticize China for
its human rights record and other problems. But he said he liked the way the
Chinese run their country.
"People seem to be living a good life in China," he said, adding that he
hasn't spent much time in impoverished rural areas. "Look at the incredible
progress China has made. How can someone say they're doing the wrong thing?"
Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., said
those who don't like the way China is being ruled just shouldn't go to the
"I don't think the U.S. should be the policeman of the whole world," he said.
Adelson has enjoyed great success in Macau since 2004 when he opened the
740-table Sands Macau, the world's biggest casino by tables. The casino -- the
first Las Vegas-style casino in the city -- earned back all of the $240 million
in invested capital within a year, the company said. Most of the gamblers were
from the mainland.
Adelson's next project is The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, with 3,000 suites
and a casino with 6,000 slot machines and 700 tables. The complex, due to open
in July or August, also includes a massive convention center and shopping mall.
It aims to be the center for trade shows and conventions in Asia.
The U.S. tycoon is seeking China's permission to build a $13 billion
development with golf courses and hotels on Hengqin Island, near Macau. It was
not known when the government would make a decision.