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Interview: Macao's first five-year plan focuses on people's livelihood: chief executive

(Xinhua)    20:19, September 09, 2016

Macao's first five-year plan focuses on people's livelihood, as a major part of the plan is about land use, infrastructure and traffic, medical service and education, Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Chief Executive Chui Sai On said.

In an interview with Xinhua, Chui explained the reason why Macao should devise its first ever long-term plan, and how it will benefit the Macao people.

Macao unveils the final version of its first five-year plan on Thursday, after almost one year of preparation. The plan sets out comprehensive development targets for the SAR, focusing on citizen's livelihood and Macao's diversified economy.

"The top-down design plan made with higher standards and vision is necessary for Macao's future development. The plan is not made in haste, the SAR needs it, the people want it," he said.

The chief executive recalled that it has been 16 years since Macao has implemented the principle of "one country, two systems," "Macao people governing Macao," and high degree of autonomy.

Macao people understand that Chinese mainland is the strong support for the SAR's economy development and improvement of people's life. Regional cooperation is a robust boost for Macao to diversify its economy. Macao has to follow the development plan of the whole country to promote its sustainable development.

"The experience that the government has learned shows that annual administrative policy and sub-plans are important, but short-term plans would not help us handle the changing situation, nor promote the SAR's public governance, long-term stability and prosperity," Chui said.

The plan said Macao targets a "world leisure and tour center" as its future position, which has been recognized by China's 12th and 13th five-year plans, as well as by the Macao people.

The plan highlights seven major targets, including maintaining stable economic growth, improving the structure of industries, improving its role as an international tourist city, raising the life quality of the residents and the quality of education, protecting environment, and strengthening the efficiency of the government and deepening the building of the legal system.

Chui said the plan borrowed the concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development in China's five-year plan. Macao's version has covered the cooperation with the 13th five-year plan, Belt and Road Initiative, commercial cooperation platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, and regional cooperation.

The SAR government had held over 40 public meetings to collect civil opinions and suggestions from more than 100 social groups. Over 4,000 letters had been sent to the government to deliver about 10,000 detailed opinions for the plan.

"The drafting process has three parts: preparatory research, public opinion collection, and plan publishing. I feel that our people recognize this plan, and are very active and reasonable in participating in the drafting process," Chui said.

The plan focuses on citizen livelihood and sets out goals covering land use, traffic, medical service, education and job creation. It also prioritizes infrastructure projects for the next five years, such as construction of a light railway network, a fourth bridge between Macao and Taipa, expanding a waste incinerator, and building an electronic surveillance system.

Macao started drafting this plan in October 2015, when a special committee was appointed to research and make a top-down design plan for Macao to become a world leisure and tour center in the mid 2030s.

"Everything's hard in the beginning. Macao didn't have long-term plan and the experience of making such plan before," the chief executive said. "We need patience and strong will to start it. The SAR government took the responsibility and carry it out with wide view and scientific method."

In order to make a good plan, Chui came to China's National Development and Reform Commission, and Tsinghua University's Center for China Studies several times for advice. The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, and Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR also offered help to the SAR government.

"During the drafting process, I deeply felt the support from the motherland to Macao," Chui said.

He said this plan both considers the short-term, mid- and long-term interests, and reflects the will of people. Drafting such a plan is one important step to make the SAR governance more systematic, democratic and precise. The SAR government and people will joint their effort to raise Macao's competitiveness, and share the fruitful result.

From this point of view, he added, drafting this plan is a breakthrough in the SAR government's efforts to implement "one country, two systems" principle.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Zhang Tianrui,Bianji)

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