Macau | Residents hope Chinese Residence Permit will really improve lives in Mainland China

Macau (MNA) – Residents from the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) can now apply for the newly rolled out Residence Permit in Mainland China for more civil rights enjoyment, and residents from the Macau SARs hoped that the new policy will really make lives in Mainland China easier.

Manuel Silva, a Macau permanent resident and Portuguese passport holder who is currently living in Zhuhai, told Macau News Agency (MNA) that health coverage and border crossing are his biggest concern regarding the new policy.

“[For now], in case of health issues I’m completely dependent on the services in Macau, in China I pay for every treatment I do,” said Mr. Silva.

According to the new policy, Residence Permit holder would be able to enjoy basic public health service.

Traveling back and forth between Macau and Zhuhai in a daily basis, Silva hoped that he could cross the via e-channels if he is qualified to apply the Residence Permit.

“The greatest challenge in our daily life here is crossing the border to Macau,” said Mr. Silva. “Because we’re still treated as foreigners.”

Ryan Lao Cho Chon, deputy executive-director of the Macau New Chinese Youth Association, said the new policy would bring more conveniences to students and businessmen in Mainland China.

However, he pointed out that whether the policy is benefitting SARs residents living on the Mainland needs further observation once is implemented.

“[We need] feedbacks from users in regards to the actual condition after they have the residence permits,” said Mr. Lao.

Lao also indicated that the rights enjoyed by residents within the Greater Bay Area will gradually be equalised among cities and difference in the level of rights enjoyed by residents between cities would create problems.

“[Therefore], we will continue to ask feedbacks from young people, in particular students studying in Mainland China,” said the deputy executive-director.

Meanwhile, local resident surnamed Yu, who has business in Mainland China, opined the Residence Permit “is of little help”.

“I don’t see there will be many significant advantages for applying the Residence Permit in comparison to the Travel Permit (Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents),” said Ms. Yu.

She noted that it is not necessary for her to live in Mainland China and hence she has little interest in applying the Residence Permit.

“Traveling between Macau and Zhuhai is easy therefore [for me] it is not necessary to live in Mainland China,” said Ms. Yu.

*With Nelson Moura