President Xi Jinping on Friday highlighted major achievements of the "one country, two systems" practice with Macao characteristics, when addressing a gathering in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland.
Over the past 20 years, the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government and people from all walks of life, in a concerted effort, have achieved the best ever development in Macao's history, with the support of the central government and the mainland and under the leadership of former chief executives Ho Hau Wah and Chui Sai On, according to Xi.
Since Macao returned to the motherland in 1999, Xi said, the constitutional order based on the Constitution and the Basic Law of the Macao SAR has been consolidated with the governing system constantly improved.
Macao's executive, legislative and judicial bodies have fulfilled their duties strictly in accordance with the law, properly handled the mutual relations, and consciously upheld the authority of the chief executive to ensure the smooth functioning of the executive-led system with the chief executive at the center, said Xi.
He said Macao residents widely enjoy law-based rights and freedom, as the Macao SAR has seen an orderly development in its democratic political system.
Macao's economy has grown by leaps and bounds since its return to the motherland, with its per capita GDP soaring to the world's second highest, Xi said.
Macao has seen an early achievement in appropriately diversifying the economy, as it has actively participated in the joint building of the Belt and Road, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area construction, Xi said, underlining the Macao residents' stronger sense of fulfillment and happiness thanks to constant improvement in people's livelihood.
Stressing Macao's social stability and harmony, Xi said Macao has become one of the safest cities in the world since its return to the motherland, by swiftly tackling security problems that existed before the return.
Close communication has been maintained between the government and the residents, as well as among different walks of life and ethnic groups in Macao, where the Chinese culture has been carried forward and coexisted with other cultures to prosper, Xi said.