National security is the basis for national survival and development and represents the main essence of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng stated in a session held to divulge the ‘spirit’ of the Chinese government ‘two sessions’.
‘The Macau SAR Government will continue to draft legislation, a management system and an improved enforcement mechanism in the context of defending national security. Promotion and awareness-raising will also be reinforced, refusing and preventing all acts that undermine national security,’ Ho was said to have announced in the session.
Ho also underlined that Macau has already enforced article 23 of the Basic Law in 2009, drafted a ‘Law on the Defence of State Security’ and established a State Security Defense Commission in 2018.
This year Ho attended his first National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Political Consultative Conference of the Chinese People (CCPPC) ‘two sessions’ as Macau SAR CE, with the most important events of the Chinese political calendar marked by the approval of a motion to legislate a national security law directly for Hong Kong.
The decision led to a be an escalation in tensions with the US, with the Trump administration announcing it would terminate the special economic status of Hong Kong after the city was defined by the State Department as not being autonomous from China.
On Monday, Ho held a session to divulge and teach the ‘spirit’ of the ‘two sessions’ and the ‘Four hopes’ and ‘Five demands’, presented by President Xi Jinping during his visit to the city last December for the 20th anniversary of its handover to Chinese administration.
‘The Macau SAR Government will continue to draft legislation, a management system and an improved enforcement mechanism in the context of defending national security. Promotion and awareness-raising will also be reinforced, refusing and preventing all acts that undermine national security,’ Ho was said to have stated in the session.
According to Ho, during the Government Work Report the leaders of the Chinese Central Government expressed support for economic development and for improving the lives of the people of Hong Kong and Macau so that the SARs can better integrate into national development, sustaining prosperity and stability for both regions.
Ho added that there is the need to coordinate the increase in epidemic prevention and control and socio-economic development with the mainland China and that although the Central Government recognized the pandemic control works carried out in Macau the city should remain attentive to the current pandemic situation.
The CE also expressed that there would be budget and expenses cuts in all public services due to the current drop in revenues from the Macau SAR but with these changes to not affect workers’ wages, TDM Radio reported.
No new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Macau for 54 consecutive days, with new cases also on the downfall in Mainland China and Hong Kong.
Ho added that a large part of the support should be dedicated to the recovery of the economy and help to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), job security, stabilization of daily life, and boosting economic recover.
Recently local authorities announced an extra MOP6.6 billion (US$826.3 million) to be doled out to alleviate the impact of the pandemic in the local pandemic, with more than MOP50 billion having been allocated from special financial reserves to balance this year’s budget.
The Chinese govenrment was also said to have urged for Macau to actively integrate into national development and promote the construction of the Cooperation Enhancement Zone between Guangdong Province and Macau in Hengqin.
In the Government Work Report the Central Government was said to have clarified that the impulse to build the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area will be one of the ‘crucial jobs to be carried out’.
Macau is to actively participate in the construction of the Greater Bay Area, making Hengqinthe first point of participation in the construction of the region, articulating the advantages of the two regions.
This new cooperation area between Guangdong and Macau through Hengqin area would comply with the Macau system, with international standards, and would be an experimental area with innovative regimes and mechanisms for implementing ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and a new high-level platform for the participation of international economic cooperation, so as to expand the space and apply new motivations for the long-term development of the SAR.