China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Macao on Wednesday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Macao’s return to the Middle Kingdom under the “one country, two systems” policy.
“It is worthwhile to sum up the experience and characteristics of Macao in faithfully implementing ‘one country, two systems,'” said Xi to reporters gathered at the airport in Macao.
“We will join hands to draw the blueprint for Macao’s future development,” Xi said.
Beijing plans to transform gambling-hub Macau to a financial-hub to replace Hong Kong as anti-government protests rocked the city this year. Domestic analysts have labelled this move by Beijing as a gift to Macau for not joining in anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
The move coincides with Beijing’s plans to create a centralized financial center called the Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macao Greater Bay Area. As the name suggests, China plans to integrate Guangdong Province with Hong Kong and Macao.
“Home to 71.16 million people, the Greater Bay Area had a total GDP of $1.6 trillion in 2018, the third-highest after the Tokyo bay area and New York metropolitan area,” stated a government report.
Beijing has strongly contrasted Macao with Hong Kong on the lead up to Xi’s visit. State-media published lengthy commentary on China’s “one country, two systems” policy.
“People in Macao have kept a firm hold of the core requirement that the “one country” is the prerequisite and basis of the “two systems,” and have opened new prospects for the successful practice of “one country, two systems” with Macao characteristics,” read a commentary published in state-owned media.