A three-day visit by President Xi Jinping to Macao was the main highlight of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao SAR. President Xi visited a number of public facilities and met people from all walks of life while reviewing the development achieved by the SAR since its foundation on 20 December 1999.
On his arrival, on 18 December, President Xi remarked that the People’s Republic of China had celebrated its 70th anniversary in October. He said the 20th anniversary of the return of Macao to the Motherland was another major event in 2019 of interest to all people in the country.
President Xi said he was very happy to be back in Macao. Since 2000, Xi Jinping has made several visits to Macao, including one in 2014 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the SAR. In a speech he gave at a reception, President Xi said he was deeply impressed by the enormous changes that had taken place in Macao in the five years since his last visit.
On 19 December, President Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, attended a gala performance put on by the Macao SAR Government to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the return of Macao to the Motherland. President Xi joined members of a chorus in singing “Ode to My Motherland” to an audience of about 1,000.
The next day, President Xi attended the “20th Anniversary Celebration of Macao’s Return to the Motherland and the Inauguration Ceremony of the Fifth-term Government of the Macao SAR”, held at the East Asian Games Dome, where he administered the oath of office to the new Macao SAR Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng. In his speech at the occasion, the President set out four aspirations for the SAR. He said Macao should further improve its governance, press ahead with sustainable economic development, promote people’s well-being, and reinforce social cohesion and stability.
While in Macao President Xi praised the Macao SAR Government and society in general for firmly implementing the “One country, two systems” principle. He said he was firmly convinced that applying “One country, two systems” with Macao characteristics would achieve even greater success, and that people in Macao would make even greater contributions to making the Chinese dream of great national renewal come true.
Macao, Zhuhai jointly put on fireworks display
Another high point of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao SAR was a firework extravaganza jointly arranged by the Macao Government Tourism Office and the Administrative Committee of Hengqin New Area. It was the first time Macao and the neighbouring Chinese Mainland city of Zhuhai got together to put on such a display.
The display was called “Macao-Zhuhai Fireworks Show in Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Macao’s Handover to the Motherland”. It took place on the seafront by the Macau Tower and Zhuhai Hengqin Financial Island on 22 December. It included choreographed manoeuvres by drones and unmanned watercraft.
The display lasted for 30 minutes on 22 December. Some 160,000 fireworks, four barges, 16 platforms for adding special effects, 56 unmanned watercraft and 600 drones contributed to the novel spectacle.
The display had four parts, entitled respectively “Beautiful China, Celebrate for Homeland”, “Glorious Years, Gather in Macao”, “Macao and Zhuhai as One Family, Close Friendship as Neighbours” and “Support Each Other, Build the Bay Area Together”. Fireworks lit the sky in the shape of the figure “20”, denoting the 20 years of the Macao SAR.
Public or private entities and community groups arranged many other events and activities around Macao in December to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao SAR.
The Sports Bureau put on an event called “Sports and Art Performances Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Establishment of Macao SAR”, held in the Taipa Stadium on 20 December. Among the performers were Hong Kong Cantopop stars including Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng and Leon Lai, along with Macao star Sean Pang and Macao athletes.
For stamp collectors, Macao Post and Telecommunications put out a special pack of stamps entitled “20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao SAR”. It comprised six series of stamps and souvenir sheets related to the establishment of the Macao SAR.