Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in the Macao Special Administrative Region for a three-day inspection tour and to attend the opening of the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in Macao, south China, Oct. 10, 2016. (Photo: Xinhua/Ju Peng)
Premier Li Keqiang started his three-day inspection visit to the Macao Special Administrative Region on Monday, pledging support for the law-based administration of the SAR government and local development.[Special coverage]
Li's plane touched down at the Macao International Airport around noon. He waved to officials and hundreds of representatives and children holding flowers and flags.
On landing, Li shook hands with Macao Chief Executive Chui Sai On and Ho Hau Wah, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, who is also a former chief executive of Macao.
In a brief speech at the airport, Li said it was his first visit to Macao and that he was happy to see the smiling children who are Macao's future. The premier passed on the sincere greetings and wishes of the central government to Macao compatriots.
"Today, I myself step on the treasured soil of the lotus flower of the motherland, also a land that has seen the successful practice of the 'one country, two systems' principle," Li said, adding that he hoped to see Macao's development, folk customs and daily life during his stay.
The premier said he would meet people from all walks of life during his trip.
He met with Chui Sai On and pledged full support for the law-based administration of the SAR government.
Over the past nearly 17 years since Macao returned to the motherland, the region has maintained political stability, economic prosperity and social harmony, completing a successful chapter in practicing the "one country, two systems" policy, said Li.
In the past two years, Macao's economy has experienced adjustment. The SAR government has led all walks of life in Macao and successfully tackled challenges and made new achievements, said the premier when meeting with Chui.
The central government fully recognizes the SAR government's work and hopes the SAR administration will overcome difficulties and continue to take initiative to realize good management, construction and development of the region while uniting Macao's people, said Li.
The premier said he expects the SAR government to continuously push the building of Macao as a world tourism and leisure center and a service platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
The central government cares very much about Macao's development and the wellbeing of local compatriots and has formulated a series of policies and measures to support the SAR in developing its economy, improving people's livelihood and strengthening exchanges and cooperation with inland areas, said Li.
Li said the central government will continue to fully and correctly implement "one country, two systems," "Macao people administering Macao," a high degree of autonomy and the Basic Law.
The central government fully supports law-based governance by the chief executive and the SAR administration and backs Macao's participation in national development strategies such as the Belt and Road Initiative to improve the wellbeing of local residents, he added.
Chui welcomed the premier and thanked the central government for its long-term care, support and help in the region.
The SAR government has strictly implemented "one country, two systems," "Macao people administering Macao," and a high degree of autonomy while working in strict accordance with the Basic Law, he said.
Macao's economy has entered a smooth period and various measures to upgrade the local economy have proved effective, according to the chief executive.
Macao has confidence in making greater progress as a world tourism and leisure center and as a platform for cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, as well as in achieving an appropriately diversified economy with the support of the central government and integration with national development strategies, said Chui.
Accompanied by the chief executive, Li visited the SAR government headquarters on Monday afternoon, where he listened to a work report of the SAR government.
Li said the SAR government should continue to implement the new demands for the region in areas such as economic and social development put forward by President Xi Jinping when he visited Macao two years ago.
Recently, the central government has put forward multiple policies to benefit Macao in line with the new situation and the demands of Macao's development, said Li.
The new policies include supporting the SAR government in hosting an annual global tourism economy forum, creating influential conventions and exhibitions, setting up a renminbi clearing center for Portuguese-speaking countries and establishing the headquarters of the cooperation and development fund between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, according to Li.
Li hopes Macao will seize the opportunities, make full use of national policies and promote development and prosperity to improve people's livelihood, better solve problems in areas such as housing and public transportation and improve the wellbeing of the 650,000 residents of Macao.
Li also met with Ho Hau Wah, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, on Monday, saying he expects Ho to continue supporting the SAR government and contributing to Macao's development.
During his visit, the premier plans to attend the opening of the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in Macao.