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Macao Magazine 54

September 2019

I think Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao are like a family. As the saying goes: ‘Guangzhou city, Hong Kong town, Macao street’ [ 廣州城、香港地、澳門街]. The centre is in Guangzhou, Hong Kong was only developed around 50 years ago making it a small place and Macao was developed even later making it an even smaller place. Although Hong Kong and Macao were colonies for many years and were cut off from Mainland China, they are now under the ‘one country, two systems’ and for the past few decades we have mutually experienced reform and the opening-up policy. In the beginning, Shenzhen was mostly developed by Hong Kong. Today, we wouldn’t be able to understand each other unless we had gone through that experience of working together. We eat, we drink and we do business together. Most of the time, Guangzhou and Hong Kong act as competitors whether in economy or technology. Macao has no power to compete with anyone and so we can serve as peacemakers instead.

play the role of an intermediary for the further development of China in the future. These are the two cultural advantages we possess. Another one is the large social community of Macao. We are connected, we know our neighbours and we have good relationships with each other. Social practices and governance are very important. One of Macao’s advantages is that our culture still contains Portuguese features. For example, we are able to handle things without the help of the government. When things need to be dealt with, our associations and industries unite and tackle the issues. These are the values that we should be promoting to other cities in the GBA. Two years ago when Typhoon Hato hit Macao, I saw numerous associations come out to help the community. I was so touched by the scene. You can find the spirit of cooperation in Macao. It is cooperation that helped Macao survive our history. It cannot be taken for granted as not many cities can survive for over 500 years – they are all historical heritage now.

Do you think it’s the Portuguese and British historical past that shaped the uniqueness of Macao and HK respectively? We all know that the SAR’s values are our uniqueness. In Macao, we have two values: the first is the protection of the traditional Chinese culture and the second is the peaceful integration of Chinese and Western cultures and religions, which is a rarity in our world. If we [who are based in Macao] tell a Chinese story, compared to someone from Nanjing, we are able to tell the story in a more understandable and effective way to outsiders even though we don’t speak fluent Portuguese or Mandarin. This is why Macao can

Macao was given the role of being a platform for the Portuguesespeaking countries because of its Portuguese history and relations. Do you think this is the ideal opportunity to promote Lingnan culture in the PSCs? I think we should promote not only Lingnan culture but also Chinese culture in general to the Portuguese-speaking countries. Macao mainly functions as a cooperation platform for trade and economy. But its advantages are also its cultural and historical connections. A lot of us have families in Africa, Southeast Asia and Brazil and that creates an emotional connection. We should also start bringing the cultures of


the Portuguese-speaking countries to Mainland China to understand each other better. Over past years, Macao has focused on developing its economy and trade, but I think we should develop the cultural, educational and technologies industries to achieve all-round successful concord, which will make Macao more valuable. It is not an advantage if we do not make good use of it, so I think we should put more efforts in this direction. Will the Macao Foundation increase its efforts in promoting the Lingnan culture? Yes, we will. However, our efforts are not under the umbrella of the Lingnan culture – they are under the GBA initiative. For example, we are the only organisation that offers funds to African students and offers scholarships to encourage students in Macao and Guangdong to pursue different levels of academic studies in Portuguese-speaking countries. It

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Macao Magazine September 2019  

We have found alarming figures on plastic waste over the course of putting together this issue: 160,000 plastic bags are used every second a...

Macao Magazine September 2019  

We have found alarming figures on plastic waste over the course of putting together this issue: 160,000 plastic bags are used every second a...