Ma­cao lauded for its suc­cess­ful prac­tices

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YI [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

China has enough con­fi­dence to en­sure that the prin­ci­ple of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” is car­ried for­ward in an or­derly and steady man­ner, given its suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion in the Ma­cao Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, the coun­try’s top leg­is­la­tor said on Tues­day.

The prin­ci­ple is the best so­lu­tion to main­tain­ing longterm pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity in the Ma­cao SAR, said Li Zhan­shu, chair­man of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, China’s top leg­is­la­ture.

He made the re­marks at a sym­po­sium on Tues­day in Bei­jing to mark the 20th an­niver­sary of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ma­cao Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion Ba­sic Law. In ac­cor­dance with the Con­sti­tu­tion, the Ba­sic Law has es­tab­lished the in­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ments for Ma­cao since it re­turned to the mother­land in 1999.

The suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion

of the Ba­sic Law in Ma­cao proves that it can with­stand the test of time, said Li, also a mem­ber of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Po­lit­i­cal Bureau of the Com­mu­nist Party of China.

Over the past 20 years, Ma­cao has seen great achieve­ments in var­i­ous un­der­tak­ings. Sus­tained eco­nomic growth and abun­dant fis­cal rev­enue have sig­nif­i­cantly improved peo­ple’s liveli­hoods and wel­fare.

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The SAR’s GDP grew from 51.9 bil­lion pat­a­cas ($6.4 bil­lion) in 1999 to 444.7 bil­lion pat­a­cas in 2018. Per capita GDP also jumped from 120,000 pat­a­cas in 1999 to 670,000 pat­a­cas in 2018, rank­ing among the high­est in the world, of­fi­cial data shows.

Chui Sai-on, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Ma­cao SAR who also at­tended the sym­po­sium, said the suc­cess­ful prac­tice shows that the prin­ci­ple of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” is work­able and pop­u­lar.

The prin­ci­ple en­sures that the Ma­cao SAR has strong back­ing from the na­tion and also en­joys the ben­e­fits of “two sys­tems”, which grants Ma­cao a high de­gree of au­ton­omy, he said.

Chui said that the Con­sti­tu­tion and Ba­sic Law, which guar­an­tee Ma­cao’s suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of “one coun­try, two sys­tems”, must be up­held.

Lei Pui-lam, a mem­ber of the Ma­cao SAR Ba­sic Law Com­mit­tee of the NPC, said Ma­cao has made great strides in pro­mot­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion and the Ba­sic Law among all sec­tors of so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing school text­book edi­tions, which are an im­por­tant part of pa­tri­otic ed­u­ca­tion.

The prin­ci­ple of “one coun­try, two sys­tems” was in­cluded as a ma­jor part of China’s sys­tem of gov­er­nance.

“It means our un­der­stand­ing of the rules of the prac­tice (of the prin­ci­ple) has reached a new height,” said Li, the top leg­is­la­tor.

“We have ac­cu­mu­lated enough ex­pe­ri­ence, con­fi­dence and strength to en­sure the steady im­ple­men­ta­tion of the prin­ci­ple, and to en­sure the Con­sti­tu­tion and the Ba­sic Law are fully, ac­cu­rately and ef­fec­tively im­ple­mented,” he said.

Li said that in the fu­ture, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s over­all power of gov­er­nance over the Ma­cao SAR and the re­gion’s high de­gree of au­ton­omy should be bet­ter ex­er­cised in ac­cor­dance with the law.

They are in­ter­re­lated and in­trin­si­cally con­sis­tent, and un­der no cir­cum­stances can they be sep­a­rated or op­posed, he added.

Li also urged the Ma­cao SAR to con­tinue es­tab­lish­ing and im­prov­ing in­sti­tu­tions and mech­a­nisms to safe­guard na­tional se­cu­rity.

He said Ma­cao should pro­hibit and pun­ish any act that en­dan­gers na­tional se­cu­rity — in­clud­ing trea­son, se­ces­sion, sedi­tion or sub­ver­sion of the cen­tral peo­ple’s gov­ern­ment — and res­o­lutely de­ter out­side forces from in­ter­fer­ing in Ma­cao af­fairs.

Law en­force­ment forces should en­sure the ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of all le­gal sys­tems, Li added.

Zhang Xiaom­ing, di­rec­tor of the Hong Kong and Ma­cao Af­fairs Of­fice of the State Coun­cil, also stressed at the sem­i­nar that the core essence of the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple is to firmly safe­guard na­tional sovereignt­y, na­tional se­cu­rity and de­vel­op­men­tal in­ter­ests.

Wang Zhimin, di­rec­tor of the Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment in the HKSAR, said af­ter the sym­po­sium that the of­fice will strictly fol­low the di­rec­tives made by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping — to firmly sup­port the chief ex­ec­u­tive and SAR gov­ern­ment’s gov­er­nance, Hong Kong po­lice’s law en­force­ment op­er­a­tion, and ju­di­ciary to bring vi­o­lent law­break­ers to jus­tice.

Wang said the di­rec­tives re­flected the as­pi­ra­tions of all com­pa­tri­ots and that the of­fice will faith­fully ful­fill its du­ties to re­pay the sup­port of all Chi­nese peo­ple, in­clud­ing Hong Kong com­pa­tri­ots, and live up to the ex­pec­ta­tions of cen­tral au­thor­i­ties.

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