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Calls for unity between “HK and Macau compatriots”: Chinese PM downsizes Macau and HK affairs in working report
Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabo yesterday reiterated the need to preserve the principles of “one country, two systems” that differentiate the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong. But in his working report, the PM cut short the portion relevant to Macau and HK affairs, in what Macau deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC) said was an unusual arrangement for a PM serving his final year of term. They further commented that the Macau and HK affairs policy decreed by the central government has been decided and won’t be affected by the change of leadership.
Wen Jiabao was speaking during the opening speech at the 12th session of the NPC, in his last speech as the prime minster. He said in his final working report as the PM that the Chinese government’s works on HK and Macau affairs have been reinforced in the past five years, in maintaining their stability and prosperity, as well as facilitating more exchanges and cooperations with the mainland. According to TDM, he also called on Chinese people to join the compatriots of Hong Kong and Macau to maintain prosperity and stability in the two SARs.
The working report’s Macau and HK affairs portion was largely cut short in comparison with the previous report. One of Macau’s NPC deputies, Chui Sai Peng, was quoted by TDM as saying that he was not surprised by the brief reference to Macau and Hong Kong. Chui and Lionel Leong, as well as a few other Macau NPC deputies including Ho Iat Sang, all said it was because Wen is stepping down and according to the mainland’s practice, the outgoing PM has to leave more space for the successor to develop his own HK and Macau policies.
“In this report, the last part is suggestion but not action. So do not expect the suggestions to be very long,” said Chui, “It has left space for the new government to take the steps they want.”
“The central government’s main direction (in relation to Macau and HK affairs) is settled although not many words are used in the report in elaboration of the works in the two SARs,” said Leong.
Chui Sai Peng also believed that Macau would benefit from the new leadership of the central government led by President Xi Jinping because Xi had followed affairs in the two SARs in recent years and therefore has an extensive knowledge of the two cities.
Commenting on the report, Ambrose So of SJM told the Macau broadcaster, without elaborating further, that Macau can learn from the anti-corruption works mentioned in the working report. Ho Iat Sang, however, said the central government is facing great difficulties in its anti-corruption works but he believes the works have to continue with renewed efforts.
UMto start operation in september
Chief Executive Chui Sai On said after meeting Guangdong provincial leader Hu Chunhua in Beijing on the sidelines of the NPC meeting, that Guangdong had finalized the timetable for completing the construction of the University of Macau’s new campus in Hengqin. While the construction is due to be completed in March, the new campus will be ready for operation by the beginning of the new academic year in September, and students will be able to study at the new facility in Hengqin by then. The two leaders also agreed to continue their cooperation on the new broder-crossing point and other issues.
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