Landmark events in the 10 years after Macao's return to the motherland

2009-12-04 15:42 BJT

The third Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Chief Executive election was held on July 26, and the results of the fourth Legislative Council election were released on September 20. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland, we selected some major events which record the ten years of Macao's history.

On December 20 1999, the Portuguese rule over Macao ended and the region was returned to the People's Republic of China (PRC). On the same day, Macao SAR Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hao Wah was sworn into office. Under the "one country two systems" policy, Macao enjoys independent administration and a high degree of autonomy.

In 2001, the Macao Legislative Assembly formally adopted a "legal system on gaming and casino operation" (commonly known as the "Gaming Act"), to give Macao's "open gaming rights" a legal basis.

In July 2003, many mainland cities began to allow their residents to freely travel to Macao.

On October 29 2003, the Central Government and the Macao SAR government signed the "Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement" (CEPA). Up to May 2009, the central government departments and Macao had signed six CEPA supplements. 

On December 19 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Macao to attend the fifth anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland and the inauguration of principal Macao government officials. President Hu unveiled the monument at Macao's Sai Van Bridge. Construction of the third Aodang Bridge took over two years at a cost of 560 million patacas, and is the largest public infrastructure project since Macao's return to the motherland. The bridge plays a significant role in improving the local traffic conditions and driving the old town renovation and macroeconomic prosperity.

The design for the location of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge's in Macao and other research was completed at the end of last year. The bridge is expected to be combined with a tunnel, with the main section reaching 29.6 kilometers in length; the chosen location is at the Macao Oriental Pearl Tower. In early 2009, Premier Wen Jiabao stressed that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will be put into operation by the end of the year.

On July 27 2009, it was decided by vote at the ninth session of the Eleventh National People's Congress to permit Macao SAR to manage the new University of Macao campus on Hengqin Island although it does not have jurisdiction over other areas. This means that this part of Hengqin Island will become a new "one country two systems" policy area.

Translated by LOTO

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: