In a meeting with Chief Executive-designate Ho Iat Seng in Beijing on Wednesday, President Xi Jinping called for Ho to accurately grasp Macao's real situation and the country’s strategic development needs, and unite and lead his new government and people from various segments of Macao's civil society to strive for the city’s long-term development.
Before meeting Xi Wednesday afternoon, Ho received a State Council decree from Premier Li Keqiang yesterday morning designating him as the fifth-term chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR).
Ho, a former speaker of the Legislative Assembly (AL), will be sworn as Macao's third chief executive – and fifth-term chief executive – on December 20 – the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland.
Wednesday's decree-bestowing ceremony, chaired by Vice Premier Han Zheng, was held at Ziguang Hall of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound. After Han read Ho’s appointment decree – officially known as State Council Decree No. 719, Li handed the decree that he signed last Wednesday to Ho, who travelled to the nation’s capital on Tuesday.
Ho is slated to present a roundup of his visit on the last day of his three-day trip – today – to the reporters covering his visit, shortly before returning to Macao.
In the meeting with Ho at the Great Hall of the People, Xi congratulated Ho on his appointment by the central government as the fifth-term chief executive of the MSAR.
Xi said, “You have long adhered to the position of loving the country and loving Macao, enthusiastically served Macao's society, worked wholeheartedly in public positions including as a member of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and president of the Macao Legislative Assembly (AL), and made contributions to the country’s reform and opening-up and its modernisation, and Macao's prosperity and stability,” adding that the central government fully recognises his efforts.
Ho had been a NPC deputy from Macao since 2000, and became a member of the NPC Standing Committee in 2001, a position he held until April when the NPC Standing Committee approved his resignation from the nation’s top legislature so that he could run for chief executive.
Ho, 62, a veteran businessman and civic leader, was elected a lawmaker representing the city’s business sector in the indirect legislative election in 2009, and was elected by his peers as the legislature’s speaker in 2013 and re-elected for the post in 2017. He resigned from the legislature in early July.
Xi also said, “Your nomination and election with overwhelming support fully shows that you have won broad endorsement in Macao.”
Ho gathered submitted 379 nominations from the 400-member Chief Executive Election Committee in July, and obtained 392 votes from the committee in the chief executive election on August 25.
Xi said, “This year marks the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland. For the past 20 years, under the leadership of two chief executives [Edmund] Ho Hau Wah and [Fernando] Chui Sai On, the Macao SAR government has united people from all walks of life, fully and accurately understood and implemented the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, firmly upheld the authority of the Constitution and the Basic Law, passed on the core values of loving the country and loving Macao, promoted Macao's rapid economic development, sustained improvements in people’s livelihoods and social stability and harmony, demonstrating to the world the successful implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle with Macao characteristics,” adding that the “One Country, Two Systems” principle “has proved to be a workable solution welcomed by the [Macao] people.”
Xi said he hoped that Ho will accurately grasp Macao's real situation and the country’s strategic development needs, unite and lead the new government of the MSAR and people from all walks of life to strive for the city’s long-term development, and continue the successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
In the meeting with Xi, Ho said that he was honoured to be appointed as the fifth-term chief executive of the MSAR. Ho pledged that he will, under the leadership of Xi and the central government, firmly implement the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, safeguard the authority of the nation’s Constitution and the Macao Basic Law, maintain the favourable relations between the central government and Macao, uphold the central government’s overall jurisdiction, defend the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and make steady progress in the implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Central government senior officials such as Han, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Director Zhang Xiaoming, and Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Macao Director Fu Ziying attended the meeting between Xi and Ho.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with Ho after the decree-bestowing ceremony yesterday morning, Li first congratulated Ho on his election as the fifth-term chief executive of the MSAR. Li said that Ho’s appointment represents the central government’s trust in Ho and Macao residents’ “great hope” and expectations of him.
Li said that since Macao's return to the motherland, the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and the Macao Basic Law have been fully implemented, noting that Macao has seen rapid economic development and significant development in various social areas, and its residents’ living standards have been continuously improving. Li also said that since its return to the motherland, Macao has been enjoying social harmony and stability, and its exchanges and cooperation with the mainland have been continuously strengthened.
“These are the results of the joint effort by the MSAR government and people from all walks of life in Macao led by the previous [and current] chief executives, and are also inseparable from the strong support of the central government and the mainland,” Li said.
Noting that this year marks the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland, Li said that the central government will continue to fully and faithfully implement the principles of “One Country, Two Systems”, “Macao people governing Macao” and a high degree of autonomy for Macao, and to act in strict compliance with the nation’s Constitution and the Macao Basic Law.
Li pledges full support
Li said that the central government will fully support Macao's new government in administering the city in line with the law. Li said that he hopes and believes Ho will lead the Macao government and people from all walks of life in Macao to work hard, made good use of the opportunities brought by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), promote Macao's economic diversification, constantly improving residents’ livelihoods, and make new achievements in the implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle in Macao.
In the meeting with Li, Ho thanked the central government for his appointment as the new chief executive, saying that he will remain unswervingly committed to the implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Ho pledged that he will administer Macao in strict compliance with the nation’s Constitution and the Macao Basic Law, make every effort to promote Macao's economic diversification and to improve residents’ well-being, actively participate in the GBA development, and consolidate the good “momentum” of Macao's development since its return to the motherland. Ho also pledged not to disappoint the expectations the central government and Macao residents have of him.
According to the Macau Post Daily, central government senior officials such as Han, Wang, Zhang, and Fu attended the meeting between Li and Ho.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)