Macao to administrate 85 square kilometres of waters - Website of MSAR Government Information Bureau

 Macao to administrate 85 square kilometres of waters 

2015-12-17 00:32:00

Source : Government Information Bureau

The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) is to take on responsibility for administering 85 square kilometres of waters surrounding the SAR, and also for administering the land area where the Border Gate with Zhuhai is located, according to an executive meeting today of the State Council.

During the meeting, the State Council approved the draft version of a new administrative division map for the Macao SAR. It adjusts Macao’s land boundaries and defines maritime areas to be placed under Macao’s management.

The Government is confident of managing the waters capably and effectively, stated the Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, in a written statement issued today.

Mr Chui expressed sincere gratitude to the Central Government, to the Guangdong Government and to the Zhuhai Government for their strong support on the issue.

Receiving approval to manage the newly demarcated 85-square-kilometres of waters has profound significance, said Mr Chui. It signifies the full implementation of the principle of “One country, two systems”, and clearly defines the application of the rule of law of Macao in those areas, the statement added.

The demarcation of such maritime waters could also assist in accelerating the diversification of the city’s economy; could foster further regional economic integration; and could maximise Macao’s contribution in the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (also known as the “Belt and Road” initiative), Mr Chui wrote.

The Chief Executive said the Government would diligently and effectively perform its administrative role in the new areas placed under the administration of Macao, and apply scientific principles to its management. The Government would additionally step up its efforts in playing an active role in national policy and in boosting the nation’s maritime economy, Mr Chui said.

Any fresh proposal for land reclamation involving Macao’s newly demarcated waters would be reported to the Central Government; and there would be no gaming venues or commercial gaming activities in such areas, Mr Chui added.

The Government would strictly respect the Central Government’s jurisdiction on defence and foreign affairs matters in relation to the newly demarcated boundaries, he stated.

Following the announcement made by the Central Government, the Government Spokesperson’s Office held a press conference this evening at the Government Headquarters.

Officials attending the press conference included: the Chief-of-Office of the Chief Executive’s Office, Ms O Lam; the Government Spokesperson, Mr Chan Chi Ping; the Secretary for Security and interim Director General of the Macao Customs Service, Mr Wong Sio Chak; the head of a joint task group on this topic and Director of the Marine and Water Bureau, Ms Wong Soi Man; the head of a functional group for defining land boundaries and Director of the Cartography and Cadastre Bureau, Mr Cheong Sio Kei; the Director of the Legal Affairs Bureau, Mr Liu Dexue; and the Consultant of the Chief Executive’s Office, Mr Kou Chin Hung.

Ms O told reporters that the Decree of the State Council outlining the new administrative division map of Macao was expected to be issued on 20 December.

She said that the Government would soon issue three administrative regulations in support of the administration of the maritime boundary. They are: a regulation specifying immigration clearance procedures for crew members of vessels; a regulation on marine dumping of waste; and amendments to the articles of the Marine and Water Bureau.

The Government would also initiate procedures to make any required amendments to relevant legislation; to train professionals for administration of the demarcated waters; and to acquire the necessary equipment for such administrative work, Ms O added.

The demarcation of Macao’s waters would give the Government the opportunity to engage in environmental management initiatives near Canal dos Patos, a waterway between Macao and Zhuhai, Ms O stated.

The Government has reached agreements with, respectively, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the State Oceanic Administration in relation to demarcation of Macao’s waters, Ms O said.

The agreements would help align the administration of Macao’s waters with the nation’s overall development plans, and would also facilitate access for mainland vessels wishing to use Macao’s waters, Ms O said.

The Government would soon set up an interdepartmental group, led by the Chief Executive, to plan further Guangdong-Macao cooperation in this area; to develop the maritime economy; and to manage the waters as demarcated, she added.

The Secretary for Security and interim Director General of the Macao Customs Service, Mr Wong Sio Chak, disclosed the Government would adopt a policy whereby the authorities would be able to send officials to any point around Macao’s waters within half an hour of being called. It would additionally introduce a system of maritime inspection with 24-hour-per-day capability.

To cope with the new duties of the Macao Customs Service in relation to the demarcated waters, the team for enforcing maritime control would be expanded to 190 people, Mr Wong said.

President Xi Jinping announced during a visit to Macao last December, the initiation of working procedures to specify Macao’s management role of its customary waters. Today’s announcement by the State Council said the policy is a way for the Central Government to show its support in helping the Government further to maintain the prosperity and stability of Macao and the sustainability of its economy.

Following President Xi’s announcement last December, the Government set up a cross departmental task group led by the Chief Executive and coordinated by the Chief Executive’s Office to follow up the matter. The task group has representatives from 14 departments and aims to cooperate with the Central Government in ensuring there is clarity regarding Macao’s boundary demarcations and those of its waters.

* Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages of Macao, the English version of the web site is the translation from the Chinese originals and is provided for reference only.

Further information on the demarcation of Macao’s maritime and land boundaries is given by Government officials during a press conference organised by the Government Spokesperson Office.

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