By He Linping, People’s Daily
“The biggest secret of Macao’s success is itsendeavor to stay committed to the basis of ‘one country’,well leverage the benefits of ‘two systems’, actively integrate into the national development, and madeself-progress out of the support of its motherland,”said Xu Jianhua, head of Department of Sociology of University of Macau, at a recent symposium.
During the past 20 years since the return of Macao to the motherland, the region has enjoyed rapid economic development, continuous improvement in people’s livelihood, and long-term social stability.
The GDP of Macao has increased from over 50 billion patacas (about $6.2 billion) in 1999 to more than 440 billion patacas in 2018, while the per capita GDP of the region has risen from 120,000 patacas in 1999 to 660,000 patacas in 2018, a vivid example of leapfrog development.
Theprinciple of “one country, two systems” has thrived with new dynamism in Macao since the region’s return to China, and experts attribute such success to Macao’s active integration into the national development, as well as its strict observation of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR)
Over the past 40 years, China’s Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR have taken active part in the country’sreform and opening-up and modernization, and meanwhile benefited greatly from the spectacular opportunities generated by China’s remarkable development.
Proactively integrating its own development into the development of the country generates important driving force for long-term prosperity and stability of Macao, and acting in strict adherence to the Constitution and the Basic Law has fundamentally guaranteed the development of rule of law of Macao, remarked Lin Wu, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and director general of the Institute of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Development Studies, Sun Yat-sen University.
Integrated development and cooperation with the Chinese mainland is one of the most remarkable achievements of Macao since its return to China, Xu said at the symposium.
“Macao’s great achievementsare the results of the region’s efforts to venerate the order based on the Constitution and the Basic Law, maintain and carry forward the excellent tradition of loving the motherland and Macao, build and adhere to the consensus about improving people’s livelihood by developing economy, and consolidate and promote the advantages of its well-established history and culture,” Deng Zhonghua, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, explained at the symposium.
According to experts, with the support of the Chinese central government, Macao SAR has well served as a bridgein attracting foreign investment and boosting the “going global” strategy since its return to the motherland, playing an important and unique role in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Besides, the Constitution and the Basic Law of Macao SAR have jointly formed the constitutional basis of Macao SAR, which not only serves as the legal foundation of the democracy and autonomy of Macao, but also effectively stimulates the dynamism of Macao’s economy, politics, and culture.
The ongoing construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which represents a new endeavor to boost the integration of Hong Kong and Macao into the development of the country and further promote the implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle, enjoys great prospects.
Wu Mei, an associate professor at the Department of Communication of University of Macau, has found through sampling statistics that primary and secondary school students of Macao have clear and objective knowledge and high level emotional identity of the history and culture of China, and showed behavioral intention of integrating into their motherland.
To draw on the successful experiences of the practices of “one country, two systems” principle in Macao and further enrich and develop the principle is the new situationand task for the development of the region in the new era.
“The glorious future of Macao is worth expecting,” said Zhang Yong, deputy directorof the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, suggesting that relevant parties should actively contribute their wisdom to the implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle so that it can sail forward steadily.