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Xi's feelings for Macao strong

By Cao Desheng and Zhang Yi | | Updated: 2019-12-19 10:15
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People in the Macao Special Administrative Region welcome President Xi Jinping on his arrival in the SAR on Wednesday for an inspection visit as Macao marks the 20th year since its return to the motherland. FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY

President calls on seniors to tell young people more stories about city's history

Reaffirming his emotional connection with the people of Macao, President Xi Jinping arrived in the special administrative region on Wednesday for his sixth visit since it returned to the motherland 20 years ago.

His feelings for the region were even more evident this time around. Over the past years, he has exchanged letters with residents of the SAR, ranging from schoolchildren to elderly people, and this correspondence has drawn him closer to the city.

Each time he interacts with Macao residents, Xi-also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of Central Military Commission-emphasizes the importance of carrying forward the spirit of "loving the motherland and loving Macao" and ensuring the policy of "one country, two systems" is fully and faithfully implemented.

Xi's most recent previous interaction with Macao residents was on Oct 6, when he replied to a letter from 30 seniors at a Macao General Neighborhood Unions Association elderly care center ahead of Chongyang Festival-or Double Ninth Festival-a day to respect the elderly that falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.

Chongyang fell on Oct 7 this year.

While extending festival greetings and best wishes, Xi called on the seniors to tell young people more stories about Macao before and after its return to the motherland, encourage youth to be actively engaged in building the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and join hands to make Macao even more beautiful.

Leong Heng-kao, president of the association, said Xi's letter encouraged his staff to carry on the spirit of "loving the motherland and loving Macao" and contribute their share to the sustained stability and prosperity of the region.

Ahead of this year's International Children's Day on June 1, Xi replied to a letter from the pupils of Premier School Affiliated to Hou Kong Middle School in Macao. He expressed hope that the students would pass on the school's fine patriotic traditions and make contributions to Macao's development and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation when they grow up.

Iao Tun-ieong, principal of Hou Kong Middle School, said that the school attaches great importance to upholding patriotic education so that pupils are proud of being Chinese and understand that the motherland strongly backs Macao, China Central Television reported.

Xi's last visit to Macao was in December 2014, when he took part in an event marking the 15th anniversary of the SAR's return to the motherland.

He made his first trip to Macao after its return to the motherland in June 2000, when he was the governor of Fujian province. That trip was made to promote economic and trade cooperation between Fujian and Macao.

One year later, he headed a delegation to Macao for the second visit and reached broad consensus with the then-chief executive of the Macao SAR Government Edmund Ho Hauwah on strengthening the partnership between Fujian and Macao.

Xi's third visit to Macao was in January 2005 when he was secretary of the CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee, during which he participated in consultations regarding comprehensive cooperation between Zhejiang and the SAR.

As China's vice-president, Xi made an inspection tour of Macao in January 2009, while the SAR was affected by the global financial crisis. During that trip, he visited ordinary families and encouraged Macao residents to work together to deal with the impact of the economic downturn.

Xi's concern and care for Macao since its return to the motherland has spanned many years, covering periods of the city's rapid economic growth, sustained improvements in people's livelihoods as well as enduring social stability and harmony.

In a meeting with newly elected and appointed Chief Executive of the Macao SAR Ho Iat-seng in September, Xi hailed the successful practice of "one country, two systems" with Macao characteristics over the past 20 years. Xi said the "one country, two systems" policy has proved to be "feasible, realistic and supported by the people".

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