Beijing’s top man on Hong Kong, Macau affairs set to visit casino hub to learn about latest developments in society, economy

Beijing’s top man on Hong Kong, Macau affairs set to visit casino hub to learn about latest developments in society, economy

Beijing’s top man in charge of Hong Kong and Macau affairs is set to visit the casino hub for a week to learn about its latest social and economic developments.

Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, was expected to arrive on Monday, the city government said.

“[Xia] will visit Macau from May 13 to 19, in order to get a better understanding of the latest developments in Macau society and its economy,” it announced on Sunday.

Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng thanked the central authorities “for the long-standing care and support for Macau”.

“Mr Ho sent his warmest welcome to Mr Xia for making another visit to Macau after last year,” the government statement said. “The [Macau] government will make proper arrangements for the visit to ensure its every success.”

It did not make further details of Xia’s visit available.

Xia Baolong on a visit to Hong Kong last year. Photo: Dickson Lee

It will be Xia’s second visit to Macau since May last year. On his last four-day visit, Xia found Macau’s development to be “relatively satisfactory”.

He also asked the Macau administration to promote the development of a “suitable degree of economic diversification”, and that it should enhance its standards of governance.

Xia took the helm at the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in 2020. In 2023, Beijing restructured and elevated the office to directly answer to the Communist Party’s central leadership, with Xia remaining as its head.

His Macau trip this week followed a similar seven-day inspection visit to Hong Kong in February. It was his second visit to Hong Kong in 10 months to learn about local developments and get first-hand accounts from local representatives about economic conditions and district governance.

One of the key items on Xia’s agenda that time was the domestic national security law, mandated under Article 23 of the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.

In April last year, Xia was also in Hong Kong and met officials, lawmakers and representatives of different quarters including the business sector.

One of the key events attended by Xia was the opening ceremony of the city’s National Security Education Day, in which he delivered a keynote speech urging residents to focus more on economic development.

He also called on Hongkongers to remain vigilant against anti-China forces that were still seeking a comeback, while asking them to choose other ways to express their views instead of mounting protests.

Last week, Xia met Hong Kong ministers such as tourism chief Kevin Yeung Yun-hung and Secretary for Education Christine Choi Yuk-lin in Beijing on different occasions.



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