Macao's Return Anniversary Marked

The government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) hosted a grand celebration ceremony Wednesday marking the first anniversary of the establishment of the Macao SAR.

President Jiang Zemin, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), and his wife Wang Yeping attended the celebration ceremony held at the Macao Cultural Center.

In his address, Jiang extended warm congratulations and best wishes to the Macao SAR Government and all residents in Macao, on behalf of the central people's government and the people of all ethnic groups.

"Having experienced many vicissitudes, Macao has returned to China's embrace as a result of the protracted and unyielding struggle of the Chinese people," Jiang said.

"It is a victory of Mr. Deng Xiaoping's great theory of 'peaceful reunification and one country, two systems'. The Macao SAR Government headed by Mr. Ho Hau Wah has been enterprising in the past year and led residents in Macao out of difficulties. As a result, an encouraging new situation has emerged in Macao," he said.

"Facts have forcefully proved that the principles of 'one country, two systems' and 'Macao people administering Macao with a high degree of autonomy' are absolutely correct and the people in Macao are highly capable of managing Macao affairs well," Jiang said.

In his speech, Jiang put forth four expectations:

Firstly, "one country, two systems" should continue to be adhered to as a basic principle in handling Macao affairs. "One country, two systems" is an indivisible concept. The term "one country" means two things: First it means Macao is part of the motherland and Macao SAR is directly under the jurisdiction of the central people's government and enjoys a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law. Second, the mainland of China always serves as a strong backing for Macao SAR. Macao cannot do without the forceful support of the mainland, which has been true in the past and will continue to be so in the future, Jiang said.

"By 'two systems,' we mean that the main part of the country sticks to the socialist system while Macao retains the capitalist system and its way of life. The central government will not intervene in the affairs that fall within the autonomy of the Macao SAR. This is a principle that should be adhered to forever," Jiang stressed.

The Macao SAR on its part should take concrete measures to defend the national interests and the authority of the central government should never allow anyone to stage any activities in Macao against the central government or to split the country. This principle should also be observed," Jiang said.

Secondly, Jiang said, efforts should be made to ensure that Macao is administered in accordance with law. All departments under the central government, all localities and people of all ethnic groups in China should uphold and observe the Basic Law. The Basic Law has prescribed the basic political, economic and social systems that should be adopted by the SAR, the relationship between the central government and the SAR, and the rights and freedoms of the residents in the SAR. People from all walks of life in Macao should conscientiously follow the Basic Law as their code of conduct.

Thirdly, it is important to maintain the Chief Executive's authority and support his work. The Chief Executive of the Macao SAR was elected according to the Basic Law and appointed by the central government. This is an indication of the exercise by our compatriots in Macao of their democratic rights. It is unprecedented in the history of Macao. The Basic Law gives the Chief Executive a high position and a great mandate. The central government is satisfied with the way in which Ho Hau Wah has governed the territory, Jiang said.

He also said he hopes that people from all walks of life in Macao will conscientiously maintain the authority of their Chief Executive and support and assist his administration, and also believes that Ho Hau Wah will never fail the trust and expectations of the central government and the general public in Macao.

Fourthly, it is essential to create a favorable social environment for the long-term prosperity, stability and development in Macao. The relatively more stable social environment in Macao today requires everyone to cherish and maintain. Everybody in China, in Macao or the mainland, should refuse to do anything destructive to the prosperity, stability and development in Macao. Both history and reality of human development have proved that economic prosperity and social progress cannot be achieved without a stable environment. This is true to the mainland and true to Macao, too, Jiang said.

"Although Hong Kong is not the same in all aspects as Macao, I believe what I have touched upon is also relevant to Hong Kong," Jiang said.

Upon Macao's return to the motherland last year, Jiang wrote the words "ushering in a new era for Macao" as his best wishes to Macao at the dawn of a new century.

"Within a short span of one year, you have already achieved a lot and made a good beginning. A thousand-mile-long journey begins with the first step, though that first step is always difficult. I sincerely wish you continued progress and wish Macao fresh success in the new century," Jiang said.

Macao SAR Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah also spoke at the gathering.

"A whole year has passed, but the stirring scene of the handover rejoicings is still so fresh and vivid in our minds," he said.

"The facts of the past year have told us that 'one country, two systems', 'Macao people administering Macao' and of high degree of autonomy have passed the preliminary test with flying colors," Ho said.

The central government and the various departments on the mainland have thoroughly carried out the principle of "one country, two systems". Not only have they never interfered with the internal affairs within the autonomous scope of the Macao SAR, but have also given every support to maintaining the stability and development of Macao, he said.

"We feel both encouraged and touched by the loving care and support of the motherland," Ho said.

"Since the handover, by strictly observing the regulations stipulated in the Basic Law, we have set up a mechanism of both equilibrium and close cooperation between the executive organ and the legislature," he said.

The Macao SAR Government has been functioning normally and smoothly, demonstrating sufficient administrative abilities; the civil servants at all levels have performed their duties dedicatedly; market environment has been improving gradually; impressive improvement has been made in public security; economy has emerged from the recession and is well on its way to recovery; and general social stability has been maintained and will continue to improve, Ho said.

"We are well aware that only with the active support and participation of the residents of Macao can we succeed in carrying out our policies, which is a vital component of the principle of 'Macao people administering Macao'," he said.

The people of Macao, as masters of their own destiny, have actively cooperated with the government, and have made tremendous contributions on all fronts, he said.

"To establish ourselves in an invincible position, and to achieve firm sustainable development, we must comprehensively and accurately implement the fundamental principle of 'one country, two systems' and take advantage of the guarantee provided by it; constantly improve ourselves; sharpen our competitive edge; avail ourselves of the opportunities created by the development in China's mainland and in the world; intensify mutually complementary cooperation with Guangdong, Hong Kong and other neighboring regions; and speed up the reform and diversification of our superior industries, which will give vigorous impetus to other local industries of Macao," Ho said.

"In the years to come, the Macao SAR Government will firmly abide by the Basic Law and make Macao a place where its citizens can live and work in peace and contentment," he said.

Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier Qian Qichen and his wife Zhou Hanqiong, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Ma Man Kei, CMC Member and Director of the General Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Yu Yongbo, Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Wang Gang, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Liao Hui, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central Government in Macao Wang Qiren, Special Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Macao Yuan Tao, and Commander of the PLA Macao SAR Garrison Liu Yuejun attended the celebration ceremony.

Also present at the ceremony are Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa and other senior Hong Kong SAR officials.

Artists from China's mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and overseas sang the "Song of Seven Children", played the piano concerto "Yellow River" and performed other wonderful programs.

President Jiang invited Wang Jian, a Chinese cellist residing in Europe, to play "Second Spring Mirroring the Moon", a Chinese famous er-hu music.

Jiang also sang "Singing in Praise of the Motherland" and other Chinese songs with all people present at the celebration ceremony.

(Xinhua 12/20/2000)

In This Series

"One Country, Two Systems" Policy Fully Carried out

Jiang's Expectations of Macao Relevant to HK

Macao Should be Administered According to Law

Favorable Social Environment Should be Created for Macao's Development

Macao Gathering to Mark Return Anniversary

Flag-Raising Marks First Anniversary of Macao SAR

Happy Birthday to Macao

Jiang Zemin Attends Macao SAR Anniversary Banquet

Jiang Zemin Arrives in Macao for Anniversary Celebrations

Hong Kong Chief Heads to Macau for Handover Anniversary

Jiang Zemin to Arrive in Macao for Anniversary Celebrations

Macao Awaits President Jiang Zemin

"One Country, Two Systems" Practice in Macao Widely Praised

Song of the Century Tells How Dreams Come True



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