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Macau Taiwan more exchanges likely between senior officials, scholar says
Macau and Taiwan will likely see more exchanges between more senior ranking officials as cross-strait ties become closer, according to the Macau Taiwan Amity Association.
Mr. Ieong Wan Chong, Forever Honorary President of the Amity Association, who is also the Head of the One Country Two Systems Research Center of the Macau Polytechnic Institute, said that although the two sides had barely started official exchanges commencing last year, the conditions were maturing and are favorable for both sides to step up their cooperation at more senior levels.
The most senior Macau official to visit Taiwan was the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Cheong U. Another major figure was Tam Chon Weng, head of the Office of the Chief Executive. Speaking to MDT, Ieong said that unlike Hong Kong, where the media always made a fuss over these visits by high-
ranking officials, Macau was a low-key and mature environment enabling government representatives to have exchanges and develop official ties. The scholar expected the two sides to get even closer: “We’ll likely see more secretarial level visits from both sides. However, in the short term I would not expect the visit of Macau’s Chief Executive to Taiwan, or Taiwan’s President, Mr. Ma to visit Macau.”
The expert on “one country two-systems” also brushed aside the possibility of Macau being “sidelined” after the mainland and Taiwan develop a closer relationship. “Although people on both sides don’t have to come here anymore before landing on the other side, Macau is the one to benefit as the two sides keep building closer relations,” he said, adding that “the ship rises as the water level gets higher”.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Macau Taiwan Amity Association’s first board of directors meeting which took place at the Grand Hyatt Macau last Friday. It was attended, among other dignitaries, by Li Weiyi, Director-General of the Taiwan Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macau Special Administrative Region, and Lo Muh Kuen, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Amity Association President, M. Constance Hsu, said the group aspired to promote a deeper understanding and further the cultural development of both societies, aiming for a sustainable and harmonious cross-strait relationship.
“Countless ties have long existed between Macau and Taiwan. Macau has acted as a bridge between Taiwan and China, and has created positive outcomes in cross-strait collaboration and development. The increasing economic and cultural activities between Macau and Taiwan in recent years have created a great opportunity to deepen this cross-strait exchange.”
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