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Hu Toasts Macao Five Years After Return

President Hu Jintao on Monday called for proper handling of problems concerning the implementation of the "one country, two systems" policy. He also praised the concept, which was formulated by the late leader Deng Xiaoping.


He said that it has already displayed and will continue to display strong vitality, based on the successful efforts made since the return of Hong Kong and Macao.


But problems could occasionally arise in implementing the principle in each special administrative region (SAR) since it has never been tried before and is still new for all concerned.


"It is therefore necessary for both the central government and the two SAR governments, as well as the people of Hong Kong and Macao, to actively explore ways to implement the principle effectively," Hu said.


The Chinese leader made the call at celebrations of the fifth anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland and the inauguration of its government’s second term


The grand gathering was held at the Macao Cultural Center, where the handover ceremony took place five years ago.


With Hu administering, Edmund Ho Hau Wah was sworn in as the second-term chief executive of the Macao SAR.


Ho was reelected on August 29 with 296 votes in favor and three abstentions from a total of 299 members of the 300-strong Election Committee.


On September 20, Premier Wen Jiabao issued a State Council decree officially appointing Ho as chief executive for another five-year term in line with the Basic Law.


Ho was elected as the first chief executive of Macao SAR on May 15, 1999.


Following Ho's swearing-in, principal officials of the SAR government and ten Executive Council members took their oaths under the supervision of the president.


During his speech at the ceremony, Hu urged the broadest unity from all walks of life to ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Macao.


"It is necessary to promote greater unity ... among all social strata, sectors and communities to maintain and consolidate general harmony in society," he said.


There should be a spirit of mutual accommodation and seeking consensus while reserving differences when there is temporary disagreement on certain issues, he noted.


Hu urged Macao’s government to put people first and constantly improve its level of governance.

"It is imperative for the SAR government to firmly establish the concept of serving and benefiting the people and to provide better services to the general public," he said.


Despite Macao's fast-paced development, additional efforts should be made to promote sustainable and healthy economic growth in the city, Hu added.


Meanwhile, the SAR should strengthen its personnel training to foster quality talent for future development.


Ho expressed his thanks for the all-around and unreserved support from the central government and pledged to improve the SAR's governance to better serve Macao's people.


Also on Monday, Hu inspected the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison Troops stationed in Macao, according to Xinhua.


Hu, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, inspected the troops of the PLA Macao garrison at their barracks on Taipa Island.


Hu said in a speech after the inspection that the troops there are symbolic of the resumption of the central government's exercise of sovereignty over Macao, and help to maintain national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and serve as a powerful guarantee for the SAR's long-term security and stability.


The president spoke highly of their performance in the past five years and urged them to continue to respect and support the SAR government and the Macao people, so as to make new contributions to stability and prosperity.


The troops entered Macao upon its return to the motherland on December 20, 1999.


(China Daily December 21, 2004)

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