Chairman of the National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang arrived in the MSAR yesterday and expressed the reasons behind his visit in three words while talking to the press at the Macau International Airport – experience, inspection and encouragement.
Zhang remarked that he recognises Macau’s significant economic achievements, saying that economic growth has led to the improvement of the livelihood of MSAR citizens since the city’s return to Mainland China.
The visit, as noted by Zhang, was to inspect the city and to report back to the central government.
With several support plans and measures introduced by the central government, as well as the four wishes made by President Xi Jinping during his visit to Macau in 2014, Chairman Zhang said the visit will allow him to inspect the MSAR Government’s progress in implementing the measures and strategies.
Zhang also encouraged the MSAR society to ‘roll up your sleeves and hang in there’ as he perceived that the city’s economy is undergoing the important process of transforming.
He stressed that his visit is to affirm the support from the central government to the city.
Speaking later at a meeting held in the Government Headquarters, the Chinese official pointed out that the development of the city’s economy and society will require the MSAR Government to improve its administrative ability.
“For now, the overall of Macau is good,” commented the Chairman during the afternoon report meeting, however he indicated that the city will also face problems and challenges in the future, including more expectations of the government from the public.
The Chairman thus urged the MSAR Government to constantly improve the administration and effectiveness so as to ensure the city’s stable implementation of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the Basic Law.
Moreover, the Chairman specifically praised the MSAR on committing itself to the National 13th Five-Year Plan, the city’s efforts to integrate the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and the One Belt, One Road strategy (including the national Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road).
Mainland China is to host the Belt and Road Forum for International Co-operation from May 14 to 15 in Beijing, with at least 28 heads of state and government attending the forum.
Meanwhile, prior to the official’s visit, the city’s police intercepted a total of 790 people during a police action codenamed ‘Thunderbolt 17’ last Thursday.
The action consisted of raids of several gaming venues, internet cafes, karaoke venues and bars on the Macau peninsula and Taipa island, with 95 people being sent to the police station for further investigation.
A press release from the Unitary Police Service stated that random inspections will be performed in order to ‘purify the community and to do the best to maintain safety and stability’.
On the other hand, several Hong Kong politicians were also barred from entering the city, with the majority of them being considered by local immigration officers as a ‘threat to the city’s internal security’.
Given Zhang’s three-day visit, several groups and associations have voiced concerns or submitted petitions to either the MSAR Government or the Chinese Liaison Office, including legislators Ng Kuok Cheong and Au Kam San.
The MSAR Government also announced the one-day closure of the Taipa-Houses today, and a Cultural Affairs Bureau reply to Business Daily’s enquiry noted that a special visit will be paid by the Chinese official to the Taipa-Houses today.