Jiang hails success of ‘two systems’ in Macau

By Loh Hui Yin, The Straits Times, 21 December 2000

The smooth transition to Chinese control for the Special Administrative Region has delighted Beijing, as is clear from the President's visit

MACAU'S smooth transition to Chinese sovereignty over the past year, after 442 years of Portuguese rule, has delighted the Chinese leadership.

Indeed, President Jiang Zemin's satisfaction with Macau was demonstrated when he went on stage and burst into song at the end of a formal concert to celebrate the enclave's first anniversary as a Special Administrative Region.

Mr Jiang initially invited a mainland-born cellist Mr Wang Jian to play another piece of music, after which he launched into an impromptu rendition of two patriotic Chinese songs.

Clearly in an ebullient mood, Mr Jiang also invited members of his delegation to join him on stage, including his Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho.

Teasing the sombre Mr Qian, the Chinese President said he usually smiles but does not sing and with that, he shared a microphone with the Vice-Premier who joined the sing-along.

Mr Jiang's performance underlined the warmth with which the Chinese leaders are commemorating the occasion.

Held at the Cultural Centre, the event was extended by another 20 minutes than the scheduled one-and-a-half hours.

Before the concert, Mr Jiang said in his speech: Facts have forcefully proved that the principles of ‘one country, two systems’ and ‘Macau people administering Macau with a high degree of autonomy’ are absolutely correct and the people in Macau are highly capable of managing Macau affairs well.

He also said: The Central Government is satisfied with the way Mr Ho Hau Wah has governed the territory. I hope that people from all walks of life in Macau will conscientiously maintain the authority of their Chief Executive and support and assist his administration.

In his remarks, Mr Ho pointed out that not only has Beijing not interfered in Macau's internal affairs, but it has also given support to maintaining the stability and development of Macau.

Reviewing Macau in the one year since it came under Chinese sovereignty, the Chief Executive talked about the improved security situation, economic recovery and general social stability in the enclave.

Yesterday's first anniversary celebration began in the morning with a simple but dignified flag-raising ceremony at the Golden Lotus Square.

The five-star Chinese flag and the green-and-white Macau flag with the white lotus symbol were hoisted by two Macau police officers to the accompaniment of the Chinese national anthem.

Mr Jiang also took time to tour the sights of Macau. He returns to Beijing today.