Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On will pay a weeklong visit to Portugal next month, the Macau Government Spokesperson’s Office announced Monday.
According to the statement, the May 11-19 visit will take place at the invitation of the Portuguese authorities.
In Lisbon, Chui will hold talks with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister António Costa.
According to the statement, the talks will focus on the consolidation of the amicable relationship between Macau and Portugal and the strengthening of bilateral cooperation.
In the Portuguese capital, Chui will co-chair the 6th meeting of the Macau-Portugal Joint Commission with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. According to the statement, the meeting will focus on the further reinforcement of cooperation in various fields.
In Lisbon, Chui will also open a photo exhibition about this year’s 20th anniversary of Macau’s return to the motherland and attend a reception for “old and new” friends, the statement said. Chui will also attend a meeting with Macau students enrolled in tertiary education courses in Portugal.
After Lisbon, Chui will visit the northern city of Porto where he will sign a memorandum of understanding with City Hall on promoting cooperation and amity between the two cities.
It will be Chui’s third official visit to Portugal in his capacity as chief executive. As his second and constitutionally final five-year term ends on December 19, it is set to be his last official visit as head of the local government to Portugal that administered Macau for about four centuries until December 19, 1999.
The Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) was set up on December 20, 1999 with Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Chui’s predecessor, as the region’s first chief executive.
1999 marked a change in administration as Portugal had unilaterally relinquished its sovereignty claims over its former colonies in the wake of the anti-colonialist Carnation Revolution in 1974.
While the People’s Republic of China (PRC) never recognised Portuguese sovereignty over Macau, it refrained from exercising its sovereignty over the city until December 20, 1999. According to the preamble to the Macau Basic Law, that day marked China’s “resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Macau”.
Meanwhile, according to recent Portuguese media reports, the Portuguese president will pay a state visit to China later this month.
The state visit will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Portuguese Republic and the PRC. Rebelo de Sousa will also attend an international forum on the central government’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during his visit to the national capital. The state visit will also include a trip to Macau. According to informed Portuguese sources, the Portuguese president will arrive in Macau late on April 30 for a one-day visit on May 1, a public holiday marking Labour Day.
Rebelo de Sousa, 70, is a former political commentator and legal scholar. He is also a former leader of the centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD), which is currently in the opposition. He left the party in 2015. He has been Portugal’s head of state since March 2016. Portugal has a semi-presidential system.