The Chief Executive, Mr Edmund Ho Hau Wah, today expressed gratitude to the State Council for its approval of a plan to reclaim 361.65 hectares of land from the sea. A statement released by the Office of the Chief Executive quoted Mr Ho as having said that the approval demonstrated the Central Government’s support to the long-term stability and sustainable development of Macao, as well as the superiority and vitality of the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems.’ The reclaimed land will become the new urban areas of Macao, with many public facilities and green areas. The Government will reserve some of the reclaimed land for public housing and projects that would benefit the diversification of Macao’s economy. The Central Government had requested Macao pay attention to the protection of the environment in the course of reclamation. Mr Ho said the Government would take into consideration the views of the public and experts during the urban planning process for the usage of the land, the statement said. Under the present system, Macao has to apply for permission for reclamation as the Central Government has jurisdiction over the waters surrounding the MSAR.