Xi congratulates fifth-term Macau SAR chief executive on assuming office
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday extended warm congratulations to Macau Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng and principal officials of the SAR government who were newly sworn in.
Xi made the remarks while addressing a gathering in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Macau's return to the motherland.
Ho Iat Seng was sworn in on Friday morning as the fifth-term chief executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region, officiated by President Xi Jinping.
Xi on Friday extended cordial greetings to all the Macau residents on behalf of the central government and people of all ethnic groups in the country.
Xi thanked compatriots at home and abroad and foreign friends for caring for and supporting Macau's development.
Xi said that over the past 20 years Macau has achieved the best ever development in history.
The president attributed the achievement to the concerted effort made by the Macau Special Administrative Region government together with people from all walks of life, the support of the central government and the mainland, as well as the leadership of Ho Hau Wah and Chui Sai On.
Macau's economy has grown by leaps and bounds since its return to the motherland, with its per capita GDP soaring to the world's second highest, Xi said.
Xi said Macau has firmly established a constitutional order based on the Constitution and the Basic Law, and improved its governing system since its return to the motherland in 1999.
The Macau Special Administrative Region has ensured the central authorities exercise overall jurisdiction while accurately implementing the high degree of autonomy, Xi said.
Macau's efforts to appropriately diversify its economy have delivered early results, Xi said, citing flourishing emerging industries such as exhibition and convention, traditional Chinese medicine and special finance.
Macau has become one of the safest cities in the world as its notorious public security was reversed quickly after its return to the motherland, Xi said.
Macau residents widely enjoy law-based rights and freedom, as the Macau Special Administrative Region has seen a orderly development in its democratic political system, Xi said.
Xi said Macau compatriots have always had firm confidence in "one country, two systems" as he summed up Macau's important experience in successfully practicing the principle.
Xi said the vitality and strength of "one country, two systems" will fully show as long as there is a firm belief in the principle and earnest practice of it.
Xi Jinping said Macau compatriots have firmly kept "one country, two systems" in the correct direction as he summed up Macau's important experience in successfully practicing the principle.
Xi said "one country" is the prerequisite and basis of "two systems."
Only by ensuring no distortion of the "one country, two systems" practice can the cause of "one country, two systems" go far and steady, Xi said.
Xi said patriotism is the most important reason for Macau's success in the "one country, two systems" practice.
Macau compatriots have a tradition of patriotism, as well as a strong sense of national identity, belonging and national pride, firmly consolidating the social and political foundation for "one country, two systems," Xi said.
Xi expressed the hope that the Macau Special Administrative Region government will keep apace with the times and improve governance of the SAR.
He called for steady efforts to improve the set of institutions for the law-based governance of Macau and ensure that the decision making by the government is well-conceived and public services are efficient.
Xi urged Macau to focus on selected aspects and projects based on the region's conditions and well-conceived procedures to appropriately diversify its economy.
Macau should grasp the opportunity brought by the building of the Belt and Road and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, Xi said.
He stressed cooperation between Macau and neighboring Zhuhai for the development of Hengqin.
He called for further efforts to improve people's wellbeing, social harmony and stability in Macau.
Xi said that China will not allow any external forces to interfere with Hong Kong and Macau affairs.
The Chinese government and the Chinese people's will to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests are rock hard, Xi said.
"I want to stress here that, after the return of Hong Kong and Macau to the motherland, the affairs of the two special administrative regions are completely China's internal affairs, which need no finger-pointing from any external forces," he said.
Xi said he believes that the Chinese people, including compatriots in Hong Kong and Macau, have the wisdom and capability to better practice "one country, two systems."
The "one country, two systems" principle, proposed in the 1980s, is feasible, workable and popular with the people, Xi said.
"Of course, the principle needs consistent perfection through practice," he said.
The undertaking of "one country, two systems" will be perfected and the special administrative regions will be governed in an even better fashion, Xi said.
The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will not be stopped. The path of common development and prosperity of Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland will be even wider, he said.