Aerial photo taken on July 23, 2020 shows a view of the new city of Cotai in Macao in south China (XINHUA)
People in Macao have great confidence in the Central Government and are looking forward to closer cooperation with the mainland, Chui Sai Peng, a National People's Congress (NPC) deputy from Macao, told Beijing Review.
"Patriotism has been passed down from generation to generation in Macao, which helps create a stable environment in the special administrative region," Chui said. "Patriotism enables us to work together for common goals."
In 1999, China resumed its exercise of sovereignty over Macao, which had been under Portuguese control since the mid-16th century. Today, 12 deputies represent its 683,000 residents at the NPC, the country's highest state organ of power.
"The potential is huge for Macao and the mainland to cooperate in fields including health, exhibitions and events, technology and creative industries," Chui said.
Chui Sai Peng, a National People's Congress deputy from Macao （COURTESY PHOTO）
Last year, the central authorities released a plan for the establishment of a Guangdong-Macao in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin, which is located in Zhuhai, a coastal city in Guangdong Province, right across the water from Macao. The plan includes construction and development of a 106-square-km island, three times the size of Macao, which is expected to bring additional economic opportunities.
The cooperation zone will help Macao, which relies heavily on the gaming industry, develop a more diversified economy, Chui said.
"I hope Macao will increase its engagement not only with Hengqin, but also with other parts of Zhuhai, and eventually to the entire Pearl River Delta and mainland," Chui said.
The mainland supplies Macao with drinking water and, after the outbreak of COVID-19, it provided pandemic prevention and control assistance to Macao.
"Macao's development is inseparable from that of the country," Chui said.
The lawmaker also recognized the Central Government's progress in advancing the rule of law over the past decade. For instance, the NPC voted in 2020 to adopt China's first Civil Code, a milestone legislation that Chui said will better protect people's rights and offer strong legal support for the country’s development.
Copyedited by G.P. Wilson
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