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Top leaders attend Macao's receprion banquet

2009-12-20 17:58 BJT

Special Report: Macao 10 Years On |

Top leaders from the Central government are attending a series of activities in Macao marking the 10th anniversary of the city's return to China. Now let's cross live to Macao to see what is currently happening.

President Hu Jintao and other senior officials are among the delegation attending a reception banquet in Macao. They arrived in Macao on Saturday and their trip is seen as a show of the central government's support for the SAR. With a population of 540-thousand and an area of less than 30 square kilometers, Macao is a small city in terms of both natural and human resources.

However, with the central government's support and the people of Macao's hard work, the region has made remarkable progress since its return to the motherland in 1999. Its GDP increased by over 13 percent in 2008... the eighth successive year of double-digit growth. More impressively, the per capita GDP of Macao residents last year reached 39-thousand US dollars, making it one of the richest cities in the world.

That figure is almost three times the average before its return to China 10 years ago. President Hu Jintao has said the people of Macao have the wisdom and the capability to build an ever-progressing city. He says the motherland will always be the firm foundation of Macao's development.

President Hu Jintao and other senior officials are among the delegation attending a foundation-laying ceremony for the new campus of the University of Macao. Founded in 1981, the University of Macao's predecessor was the privately owned University of East Asia. In 1991, a new university charter was put in place. The university became public and was renamed the University of Macao.

The university has experienced rapid growth ever since. Student enrollment rose from several hundred in the 1980s to over five thousand today. Over the same period, the percentage of local students has soared from 39 percent to 80 percent. Since 2001, the University has been recruiting students from 25 provinces and cities on the Chinese mainland. The University offers about 100 Doctoral, Master's and Bachelor programs. Ever since its foundation, the University's physical growth has been painfully restricted by the narrowness of the space it dwells.

To change the situation and provide a drive for the long-term development of higher education in Macao, the central government transferred jurisdiction of a 1.09-square-kilometer area of adjacent Zhuhai City in 2009 to the government of Macao Special Administrative Region, on which the new campus of the University of Macao will be built over the next 3 years. Macao law will be applied on the new campus.

Editor: Yang Jie | Source: