Macao marks 21st return anniversary

2020-12-20 17:25:18

Macao SAR Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng attends a reception to mark the 21st anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland on Dec 20, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] MACAO -- China's Macao Special Administrative Region held a series of events on Sunday to mark the 21st anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland and the establishment of the Macao SAR with epidemic control measures. At around 8:00 am Sunday on the Golden Lotus Square, the national flag of the People's Republic of China and the flag of the Macao SAR were raised to the national anthem in front of an audience of around 500 people wearing face masks. The People's Liberation Army Garrison in Macao also held a flag-raising ceremony in the morning. A reception was held subsequently at the China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Commercial and Trade Service Platform Complex, with over 900 attendees including government officials and others. Macao SAR Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng said at the reception that during the past year, which had been an extremely difficult and extraordinary one, Macao had implemented strict prevention and control policies on COVID-19, leaving no deaths and achieving high recovery rates. Macao would further its epidemic control efforts in the coming year while adopting active fiscal policies and timely measures to push for economic recovery, provide targeted support for small and medium-sized enterprises, ensure employment, and achieve pluralistic development of the local economy, Ho noted. He also said that the SAR would further participate in building the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative in a practical and orderly manner. Efforts would be made to continuously enhance Macao's role of facilitating the country's domestic circulation and linking the domestic and international "dual circulation," he added. China has unveiled its "dual circulation" development pattern, where internal and external markets can reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay. Also on Sunday, the Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau offered to the public a commemorative postmarking service, at a temporary counter at Macao Post's Senado Square headquarters. Commemorative envelopes to mark the anniversary were also available for purchase. An exhibition showcasing 30,000 potted chrysanthemums is also open to the public until Jan 3, 2021. However, after careful assessment, the government announced earlier this month that it will not organize the fireworks show in celebration of the return anniversary to avoid crowding and reduce pertinent risks.