During yesterday’s meeting with various city representatives in the Macau East Asian Games Dome, Chairman of the National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang proffered three pieces of advice to the city – cherish experiences, build the foundation, and facilitate development.
The NPC Chairman cryptically commented that the city should conclude past experiences in order to nurture further successes, commenting that the implementation of ‘One country, two systems’ in the MSAR has been a great success and noting that prospects continue to be positive.
The chairman analysed that the success of ‘One country, two systems’ in the MSAR was based upon adherence to the Basic Law, the support provided by the Macau community to central governance, the continuous effort in developing the city’s economy and improving residents’ livelihood, as well as the strong value of ‘love the country and Macau’ among Macau’s communities.
Zhang specifically praised Macau on its implementation of Article 23 of the Basic Law (in which the SAR must adopt national security laws).
In terms of building foundations for the future, Zhang remarked that the practice of the policy is currently at the stage of ‘climbing up a slope’.
“The success of ‘One country, two systems’ is merely a success at a particular stage,” commented Zhang.

Nationalism
He pointed out that advancements can be made through three approaches, the first of which is to continue to promote the concept of ‘love the country and Macau,’ in particular in the education of the young population. The second approach is to enlarge the efforts towards ‘love the country and Macau,’ and thirdly to cultivate young talent to govern and build Macau.
This third approach – facilitating development – involves three approaches:
The first approach is to strengthen the unity and to support the Administration of the Chief Executive (CE) and the MSAR Government in order to stabilise the social situation and political ecology.
The second approach requires the MSAR to be proactive in integrating national development.
“There are a lot of nations that wish to get on the economic express train of China,” said Zhang at the forum. “[The central government] has already reserved seats for the SARs […] with the privileges of the VIP channel free of charge.”
Zhang expressed the hope that Macau could achieve its goal while serving the nation.
The third approach involves Macau fully performing its special advantages.
The NPC Chairman affirmed that the central government would support the city in utilising the beneficial measures offered by the central government, hoping Macau could extend its development opportunities in order to promote economic diversification and sustainable development.
In addition to the three pieces of advice, Zhang said the central government fully supports the MSAR utilising the 85 kilometres of territorial waters it has been granted for the exploitation of marine economic development as well as the improvement of policies for Mainland residents entering the MSAR. Recent forums in the MSAR have discussed opening up visa access between the Pearl River Delta region to facilitate tourism and trade.
Meanwhile, the NPC Chairman noted that Macau should not allow chaos and conflict to occur in the city, given that it would not be ideal for a small city with a small population.
He urged the city to consider overall interests, pay attention to and review the demands of the general public, as well as assisting the MSAR Government in preventing and resolving conflicts.
Zhang added that conflicts will always exist but said it was important to correctly understand, grasp, and properly handle issues leading to social contradictions and conflicts.

Suggestions to central government
Some 120 representatives attended yesterday’s forum, at which six attendees expressed their wishes and suggestions to the NPC Chairman.
The President of the Board of Directors of the Macao Chamber of Commerce and indirectly elected legislator Kou Hoi In suggested the central government support the MSAR in practising the ‘Sino-Luso Forum’ in order to expedite the construction of the ‘one platform’, as mentioned during last year’s 5th Ministerial Conference which welcomed Portuguese-speaking country members as well as Premier Li Keqiang.
Mr. Kou also expressed the wish that the central government assist Macau in getting involved in the plans and strategies of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and in helping build a more diversified financial environment in the city via such measures as introducing the Renminbi Clearing Centre.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Macao Convention and Exhibition Association, Ms. Lou I Va, expressed the wish that the central government support strategies on co-operation between Macau and the Mainland including the setting up of a tourism training station in the Greater Bay Area, as mentioned recently by the CE, and the improvement of policies on border crossings in order to build a unified tourism market between the MSAR and Hengqin.
Ms. Lou also expressed the hope that the central government would support the construction of the economic zone for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.
Legislator Si Ka Lon proposed the promotion of the Basic Law as well as the Constitutional Law, the continuation and improvement of governance in accordance with the law, and the training of civil servants who have a strong sense of rule pursuant to the law.
For legislators Ella Lei Cheung I and Wong Kit Cheng, the functions and future development of associations which ‘love the country and Macau’, and opinions on the future cultivation of local talent, were discussed during the forum, respectively.
Leong Heng Kao, President of the General Union of Neighbourhood Associations of Macau, pointed out the impact made by associations which follow the principle of ‘love the country and Macau’ on the consistent governance of the city.
Following the forum at the Macau East Asian Games Dome, the NPC Chairman paid visits to the Legislative Assembly and the Court of Final Appeal.
Today is the final day of Zhang’s visit to Macau.

Photo courtesy of GCS