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Legislative leader lauds Macao at start of visit

By Willa Wu in Macao and Luis Liu in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-09 07:31

 Legislative leader lauds Macao at start of visit

Chairman Zhang Dejiang (right) of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress greets well-wishers with Macao Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on after arriving at Macao International Airport on Monday. Edmond Tang / China Daily

Zhang Dejiang vows 'unswerving support' for SAR's development

Zhang Dejiang, the nation's top legislator, praised on Monday the "splendid" achievements Macao has made since its return to China in 1999 and pledged the continuation of "unswerving support" from the central government for the economic and social development of the special administrative region.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee chairman, on behalf of the central government, encouraged Macao's people to unite in forging ahead.

Zhang is in the Macao Special Administrative Region for a three-day inspection visit commissioned by President Xi Jinping, during which he will meet with government officials, Legislative Assembly members and people from different sectors.

Zhang said after arriving at Macao International Airport that this visit could be summed up in three words, "to feel, see and encourage".

"I am here to feel the city's development, its accomplishments, as well as the joy and happiness shared by its residents," Zhang said, adding Macao had seen tremendous change economically and socially, while people's livelihoods had improved significantly.

Zhang said he would inspect the city to see whether Xi's instructions, the central government's requirements and a series of Macao-related policies are being carried out faithfully.

The legislative leader also said he would listen to opinions from different sectors.

Zhang encouraged Macao people to "pull together and open up new prospects" as the SAR undergoes an economic and social transition.

The world-renowned casino hub saw a period of slow economic growth from a lengthy drop in gambling revenue.

Zhang said he is in Macao to reinforce the central government's steadfast support for the city's economic and social progress, calling on the public to put more effort into advancing development.

Zhang met with Macao Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on and attended a meeting with all senior local government officials. He said the central government fully endorses the work delivered by Chui and his administration.

Zhang cited statistics saying Macao's GDP last year was 5.9 times that recorded in 1999; per capita GDP amounted to $69,000, among the highest in the world, which proved the "One Country, Two Systems" policy was a success in the city and demonstrated the outcome of the SAR government's work.

Zhang said he hoped that Macao would seize opportunities offered by the nation's development policies.

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