Mon, Dec 20, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Hu lands in Macau to mark handover's fifth anniversary

AP , MACAU

Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) arrived yesterday in Macau for celebrations of the former Port-uguese colony's fifth anniversary as Chinese territory, declaring the small gambling enclave a success under Beijing's rule.

"In the five years since Macau returned to the motherland, it has achieved significant results in all aspects, such as its economy and society," he said.

Macau has seen double-digit economic growth and a drop in violence since it came under Chinese control on Dec. 20, 1999.

Hu hugged a young girl who presented him with a bouquet as he stepped from an Air China jet. Macau leader Edmund Ho had boarded the plane to receive Hu, and disembarked behind him.

Security was tightened ahead of Hu's two-day visit, with officials sealing off roads in the small coastal city. Macau authorities refused entry to veteran Hong Kong activist-turned-lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄), who arrived by ferry on Saturday, hoping to stage a protest yesterday. Leung said he had planned to denounce the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Hong Kong's Oriental Daily News reported earlier Hu would give a speech on a proposed anti-secession law, which Taiwan says would give China the legal pretext to attack.

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