Xi hails close ties between motherland, Macao

Updated: 2014-12-20 17:36


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MACAO - Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Saturday that Macao compatriots have gained a growing sense of identity and belonging with the motherland, 15 years after the region's return to China.

Xi hails close ties between motherland, Macao

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with the Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region Fernando Chui during his visit to Macau to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its handover to the mainland December 20 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Xi told a celebration gathering that the close national bond of "blood being thicker than water" is becoming ever stronger.

"Love for the motherland and love for Macao has become a prevalent value in Macao society," he said.

In the meantime, said the president, Macao, as a historical city where Chinese and Western cultures meet, displays a unique charm that belongs to a culture typical of Southern China, yet with a distinctive European touch.

"Here, communities from various ethnic backgrounds live in harmony and help and learn from each other," said Xi.

"Together, they present to the world a dynamic Macao beaming with vitality."

Xi also pointed out that the Macao people have been making vigorous efforts to implement the principle of "one country, two systems" and have achieved fruitful results.

"Over the past 15 years, with the strong support of the central government and the mainland, and under the leadership of the chief executive and the government of the Special Administrative Region (SAR), people from various sectors in Macao have united as one," said the president.

Macao is having increasingly closer exchanges and cooperation with the mainland and continuing to make its unique contribution to the reform, opening-up and modernization drive of the motherland while sharing the opportunities and benefits brought by development of the mainland, the president noted.

Xi said Macao has enjoyed orderly progress in democracy, fast economic growth, rising living standards, and social harmony and stability since its return to the motherland 15 years ago.

"The constitutional order of the Macao SAR, as prescribed by the constitution and the Basic Law, is respected and upheld," said the president.

He said the central government's overall governing power is effectively exercised while the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the Macao SAR is fully guaranteed.

Xi, hailing the remarkable achievements Macao has scored since its return, said it makes not only Macao residents but also people of all ethnic groups in China proud.

"The valuable experience gained by Macao along the way should be cherished and remembered by Macao compatriots and people of all ethnic groups in the entire nation," said the president.

He highlighted the importance of full, correct understanding and implementation of the principle of "one country, two systems."

The president said the implementation of the principle must strictly abide by the Basic Law, focus on economic growth and people's wellbeing, uphold inclusiveness and mutual assistance, and promote broad unity under the banner "love the country, love Macao."

"The implementation of 'one country, two systems' will make steady and continuous progress along the right track and Macao will have a better future," said Xi.