The Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, exchanged on Sunday (12 May) views with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Portuguese Republic, Mr Cai Run, on how to promote China-Portugal relations and further Macao’s role and function as a bridge and a platform between China and Portugal.
The meeting was held in Lisbon on Sunday evening, the same day the Chief Executive arrived in the Portuguese capital for a nine-day visit to the country.
During the Sunday meeting, Mr Chui expressed thanks to the Chinese Embassy for the support and coordination that would help make a success of the visit to Portugal by the delegation of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government.
Mr Chui noted that the year 2019 would mark, respectively, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China; the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Portugal; and the 20th anniversary of Macao’s return to the motherland.
Those anniversaries would create favourable conditions for fostering China-Portugal relations, added the Chief Executive.
Mr Chui also shared information with Mr Cai regarding the recent visit to Macao of the Portuguese President, Mr Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. During that visit, Mr Rebelo de Sousa had shown great interest regarding the promotion in Macao of Portuguese culture and language; and Macao’s involvement in, respectively, the “Belt and Road” initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area).
Frequent visits by Portuguese officials to Macao, and of Macao officials to Portugal – as well as strengthened communications – had helped the two places to advance Macao’s function as a commercial and trade cooperationservice platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. The latter function is also known as Macao’s “Platform” role.
Mr Chui added that the Macao-Portugal Joint Committee was now being held more frequently – once a year – in order to strengthen cooperation efforts.
The Chief Executive additionally said the Macao SAR Government delegation hoped to learn more about Portugal’s experience in promoting youth entrepreneurship, and would seek to enhance cooperation in matters related to youth affairs.
Speaking during Sunday’s meeting, Mr Cai noted the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, had visited Portugal, and the Portuguese President had visited China, within the past half year. This clearly illustrated that China-Portugal relations had developed to a high level, added Mr Cai.
The Macao SAR Government delegation’s visit – against the backdrop of the 40th anniversary of China-Portugal diplomatic relations and the 20th anniversary of Macao’s return to the motherland – was believed to further Macao-Portugal ties and bring constructive effect to China-Portugal relations, stated Mr Cai.
Advancement of the Greater Bay Area had attracted much attention in Portugal, Mr Cai added. Portugal hoped to take part in that process in order to create new Macao-Portugal cooperation opportunities and to assist Macao in diversifying its economy.
Mr Cai noted the Macao SAR Government and Macao enterprises had launched a number of projects in Portugal, including setting up offices there. Such efforts fully demonstrated that Macao’s platform role had been increasing in importance.
Members of the Macao delegation attending Sunday’s meeting included: the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan; and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Mr Tam Chon Weng. Also attending were the Spokesperson of the Executive Council, Mr Leong Heng Teng; and the following members of the Executive Council: Mr Liu Chak Wan; Mr Ma Iao Lai; Mr Cheang Chi Keong; Mr Chan Meng Kam; Mr Wong Yue Kai; Mr Lam Kam Seng; and Mr Chan Chak Mo. Other Government officials present included: the Chief-of-Office of the Chief Executive’s Office, Ms O Lam; the Director of the Government Information Bureau, Mr Chan Chi Ping; the Director of the Protocol, Public Relations and External Affairs Office, Ms Lei Ut Mui; and the Director of the Macao Economic and Trade Office in Lisbon, Ms O Tin Lin.
Officials of the Chinese Embassy to the Portuguese Republic present in the meeting were: Political Counsellor Mr Xu Zhida; Economic and Commercial Counsellor Ms Xu Weili; Cultural Counsellors Mr Li Ji and Ms Han Xiaoyan; the Head of the Political Section, Mr Ma Yue; the Head of the Administrative Section, Mr Zhang Zhongru; and the Head of the Consular Section, Mr Zhuge Caiyan.View gallery