Crimes committed in the Hengqin In-depth Cooperation Zone will be prosecuted under mainland China law, TDM Radio reported.
The information was confirmed today at a press conference by the Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong, who added, however, that in the area of justice there are still several open issues to be discussed.
“Hengqin is part of the People’s Republic of China and not Macau”, recalled the Secretary, clarifying that whoever commits a crime there “will respond to the penal law of the place, following the jurisdiction in Hengqin”.
André Cheong said, however, that there are still some issues to be resolved in the area of justice within the scope of the new cooperation zone, noting that the parties are analyzing different issues, such as extradition.
“Both sides are still studying the issue of handing over offenders. We have this theme with other sites, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Portugal, but we still don’t have a concrete decision, a final decision on this matter”, he said.
The Macau authorities indicated that the “application of the legal diplomas of the interior of China” is planned, but also that “an institutional system will be gradually created” capable of ensuring compliance with the national Constitution and the Basic Law.
Beijing has given Macau another 106 square kilometres to diversify the economy and escape the overreliance on the gaming sector.
The initiative is intended to strengthen Macau’s integration into China and to counteract limitations and constraints on space and resources, with the development of industries in areas such as health, finance, cutting-edge technology, tourism, culture and sports.
The Cooperation Zone will be integrated into the administration of Guangdong Province, and delegations from the Guangdong Provincial Committee and the Government of Guangdong Province will be set up to deal with state security, judicial matters in criminal matters and public security, among others.
According to the press conference held today, these delegations will also perform the real-time functions of territorial administration, with Secretary Cheong stating that the good guarantees of the rule of law will be ‘key to the stable and successful development of the Cooperation Zone.
At the same time, exchanges and cooperation in the judicial area between Guangdong and Macau will be strengthened, with the creation and improvement of diversified mechanisms for the resolution of disputes in commercial matters, including judgment, arbitration and mediation in international commercial matters.
A study will also be carried out on the strengthening and expansion of the functions and role of the People’s Court of the New Zone of Hengqin, with a view to offering judicial services of high efficiency and convenience and guarantees for the construction and long-term development of the Cooperation Zone.
Further details on the island’s administration plans were also revealed, with authorities indicating that Guangdong and Macau will jointly create the management and execution bodies for the development of the Cooperation Zone, and integrate the Cooperation Zone in the administration of Guangdong Province.
The Management Committee will be a body in charge of managing the development of the Cooperation Zone, and will be jointly created by Guangdong and Macao under the Leadership Group for the Construction of Great Bay Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau.
The Management Committee may, within the scope of its competencies, will coordinate and deliberate on plans, policies, projects and the appointment and dismissal of personnel in the area will operate under a co-headship regime, jointly headed by the Governor of Guangdong Province and the Chief Executive of the Macau SAR, wih permanent deputy appointed by the Macau SAR and other deputy heads to be appointed by agreement between Guangdong and Macau.
The Management Committee will comprise of the Executive Committee – a body to carry out the development of the Cooperation Zone – in charge of promoting the dissemination, at the international level, of the Cooperation Zone, attracting business and investment, the introduction of industries, exploration of land, construction of projects and management of matters relating to the lives of the population, among others.
The main officers of the Executive Committee will be appointed by the Macau SAR Government, and this committee will have other members from Guangdong Province and Zhuhai City.