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Hu envisions better future for Macao SAR
Updated: 2004-12-20 14:51

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday said stability should be maintained in Macao and that an "inclusive and harmonious society" should be built in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Hu, who arrived in Macao Sunday on a two-day trip, made the call during a celebration gathering marking the 5th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland and the inauguration of the second-term government of the Macao SAR.

President Hu Jintao speaks at the inauguration ceremoney for the second term government in Macao December 20, 2004. President Hu underscored the success of the "one country, two systems" formula in Macao as the former Portuguese-run enclave marked the fifth anniversary of its return to the motherland's embraces. [newsphoto]
"As long as Macao's overall and long-term interests and China's national interests are truly cherished, Macao can achieve a broad-based unity in its society and make concerted efforts to usher in an even brighter future for the Macao people," Hu said.

He said it is necessary to promote greater unity on the basis of loving the country and loving Macao among all social strata, sectors and communities, and maintain and consolidate general harmony in society.

"All citizens, regardless of their stratum, circle and religion,can and should unite for the grand goals of loving the motherland, loving Macao and maintaining Macao's long-term prosperity and stability," he added.

Hu said even if there are temporary differences on certain issues, rational debates can be conducted in a spirit of mutual accommodation and seeking common ground while reserving differences.

Upgrading governance

Hu called on the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government to "put the people first" and "constantly improve the level of governance."

"Confucius once said people are the foundation of a nation and when the foundation is firm, the nation can enjoy tranquillity," Hu told the gathering. "It is imperative for the SAR government to firmly establish the concept of serving and benefiting the people and to provide better services to the general public."

Senior officials of the Macao Special Administrative Region are sworn into office before President Hu Jintao (R) and Macao SAR Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah in Macao December 20, 2004. [newsphoto]
Hu asked the Macao SAR government to get closer to the communities, learn about what the people want and lose no time in meeting their needs.

"A democratic and scientific decision-making mechanism should be established and gradually perfected. Administrative and legal reforms should be carried out steadily to make administration more law-based, standardized and effective," he said.

The president also called for a "diligent, clean and efficient" government in the Macao SAR to provide quality services to the public.

Hu also urged the SAR government to give close attention to the betterment of law and order, to the fight against crimes in accordance with law and to the maintenance of a stable social environment.

Economic Dvelopment

Hu urged the Macao government to concentrate resources on promoting a "sustained and healthy economic development" in the special administrative region (SAR).

He said development is of overriding importance and Macao's economy has been booming in recent years.

Singers and a dancer perform during celebrations of Macao's fifth anniversary of the return to the motherland in Macao December 20, 2004. [newsphoto]
"But some of the long-standing and underlying problems still linger," Hu said. "We should consider matters carefully before making decisions, consolidate existing advantages while nurturing new areas of economic growth to make development more sustainable."

He suggested that management of the gaming industry be further strengthened and improved and that at the same time efforts be made to promote tourism and other related sectors.

"Macao should take advantage of CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Agreement) to strengthen cooperation with the mainland,the Pearl River Delta region in particular, for greater effectiveness of the cooperation schemes," he said.

Economic ties between Macao and the international market shoul dalso be expanded to broaden the horizon for development, he added.

Strong Backing

Hu said that facts have proved that the great socialist motherland has always been a reliable backing to Macao's development.

The president said that the past five years have also witnessed increasingly close ties between the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the mainland of China.

The central government attaches great importance to Macao's development, and gives all-out support to its closer exchanges and cooperation with the mainland in all fields, said the Chinese president.

New policies and measures, including the launching of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between the mainland and Macao, allowing individual citizens from certain mainland regions to travel to Macao, establishing the Zhuhai-Macao cross-border industrial zone, and promoting the cooperation between Guangdong Province and Macao and in the Pearl River Delta have added greater vitality and a broader horizon to Macao's development, the president said.

Hu said that meanwhile, the sense of belonging to the Chinese nation has been further enhanced among Macao compatriots.

With the support of the central government, Macao's external relations, particularly with Portuguese-speaking countries and the European Union, have been further expanded, thus maintaining Macao's status as an international city, he added.

Unprecedented Undertaking

President Hu Jintao said that "one country, two systems" is an unprecedented undertaking.

The president said while socialism is practiced in the main body of the country, how to properly administrate, build and develop the two SARs of Hong Kong and Macao, where capitalism is practiced in line with the "one country, two systems" principle, and maintain their long-term prosperity and stability is a brand new subject for the central government.

Hu added that it is also a brand new subject for the two SAR governments.

He said it is therefore necessary for both the central government and the two SAR governments, as well as the Hong Kong and Macao compatriots, to actively explore the ways to implement the "one country, two systems" principle as they go forward.

"In so doing, we might encounter some problems, as the undertaking has never been tried before. We must correctly analyze and properly handle these problems," he added.

He stressed that the key to doing so is to accurately understand and implement the "one country, two systems" principle,act in strict accordance with the Hong Kong and Macao Basic Laws in administration, adhere to "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and "Macao people governing Macao" with patriots as the main body, and achieve the broadest-based unity under the banner of loving the motherland, loving Hong Kong and Loving Macao.

"The more people we can unite with, the better. This is a key conclusion we have drawn from the development since the return of Hong Kong and Macao," Hu pointed out.

He added that "so long as we keep doing so, the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao will be fully guaranteed

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