by Xinhua writers Wang Chenxi, Hu Yao and Zhang Ning
MACAO, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- The chief executive election in China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Sunday saw Ho Iat Seng elected as the SAR's chief executive-designate.
Extending congratulations, a spokesperson with the State Council Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office said the central government will carry out the appointment process in accordance with the law after receiving the formal report of the election delivered by the Macao SAR government. Ho, if approved by the central government, is set to take the helm of the SAR government at the end of this year.
2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland and is a key moment in terms of building on past successes to further advance the SAR's development. The chief executive is responsible for further promoting the "one country, two systems" practice, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests and maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of the Macao SAR.
VITALITY OF "ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS"
Featuring stability, prosperity and constant improvement in people's wellbeing, Macao's development over the past 20 years has demonstrated the great vitality of the "one country, two systems" policy.
For 20 years, Macao's economy has kept growing at an annual average rate of over 10 percent, with a per capita GDP now ranking among the highest in the world.
The monthly median income of the SAR's residents rose from 9,000 patacas (about 1,100 U.S. dollars) to 16,300 patacas, and the unemployment rate has remained below 2 percent in recent years.
Constant growth has been observed over the years in Macao's annual number of inbound travelers, which crossed the mark of 35 million in 2018.
Meanwhile, some social problems arose amid the rapid development of Macao's economy and the SAR is faced with certain risks and challenges from both internal and external, including economic diversification, housing, inflation, youth development and tourism capacity.
All these require the new chief executive and the new SAR government seize the SAR's role and opportunities in the national development strategy, achieve Macao's better development in the country's reform and opening up in the new era and contribute to the national rejuvenation.
After formally announcing his bid for the election, Ho and his team visited communities to listen to people's opinions. He has met representatives of hundreds of social groups in Macao to discuss issues the masses are concerned about.
INTEGRATION INTO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Only when the motherland sees sound development can Macao achieve better development.
With an increasingly strong motherland as Macao's strong backing, now is the time for the SAR, with constant improvement of its competitiveness, to actively integrate itself into the overall national development.
In February 2019, the central authorities unveiled the outline development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which lists Macao as one of the core engines for regional development in the Greater Bay Area, along with Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
This is a move that allows Macao to stand at the tide of the Greater Bay Area development, starting a new stage for the SAR's development.
Now that the goal has been set, it is imperative to press ahead.
In his political platform, Ho said he is willing to devote himself to the service of the country, Macao and its residents, work together with Macao residents to facilitate the country's opening up on all fronts, and actively integrate Macao into the overall national development.
Ho, who was a member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and president of the Legislative Assembly of the Macao SAR, has a profound understanding of national policies and the actual situation in Macao.
Ho is up to the central government's standard for the position, as he loves the country and Macao and is trusted by the central government, capable of governing the SAR and supported by the people of Macao.
(Xinhua reporter Zhang Yunlong in Beijing contributed to the story.)