Friday, 18 Jan 2019
U.S.-Macau Relations: Past, Present & Future [dated-17-Oct-2012]


U.S.-Macau Relations -- Past, Present, and Future - Remarks to the American Chamber of Commerce in Macau by Stephen M. Young, U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted -- finally -- to have this opportunity to address the American Chamber of Commerce in Macau. We at the Consulate General greatly value our relationship with AmCham, and are always eager to hear your views and concerns. I have made many visits to the Macau Special Administrative Region since my arrival as U.S. Consul General in 2010, and met many of you either here or in Hong Kong, but this is my first chance to address your organization as a group. I look forward to an interesting exchange.

I know that I have said it before, but I am always struck by the warm welcome Americans receive here, although perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, given Macau's traditional openness to foreigners, not to mention our own long history of partnership and friendship.

From a personal perspective, I have enjoyed meeting with a wide range of Macau society, from students to journalists to government officials and business leaders, and have also enjoyed strolling Macau's old neighborhoods and getting to know more about the unique history, cuisine, and architecture of this fascinating place. It is always special to me that Macau has managed to retain a measure of its traditional character, despite the tremendous economic growth of the past decade. I should add that while there are obvious differences between Macau and my native New England, I have often been struck by the surprising similarities in our can-do spirit.

My topic today is "U.S.-Macau Relations -- Past, Present, and Future," but it is important to place the role of our increasingly broad and dynamic engagement with Macau in the context of our wider efforts in the Asia-Pacific and the world. As most of you know, President Obama has made reinvigorating our relationships in this vital region one of his most important foreign policy priorities. This strategy is focused on: strengthening bilateral security alliances; deepening our working relationship with emerging powers, including China; engaging with regional multilateral institutions; expanding trade and investment; forging a broad-based military presence; and advancing democracy and universal human rights.

As someone who has spent much of my career in Asia, I can affirm for you that the Obama Administration has been quite serious about this renewed engagement. At the same time, I would also say that our commitment to this region has never really waned, despite the perception of some that our attention has been focused elsewhere.

Our ongoing commitment to stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific is borne out not only by the robust and meaningful security alliances we have forged and maintained for decades with a number of nations in the region, but also by the strong and growing economic relationships we have with many partners in the partners in the region.

APEC, which just concluded its Leaders Meeting last month in Vladivostok, is the premier forum for U.S. economic engagement in the region. APEC's 21 member economies, making up a market of nearly three billion consumers, account for 44 percent of world trade and represent 56 percent of global economic output -- over US$39 trillion. This year has seen progress on some of our key objectives, including agreement on a robust list of 54 environmental goods slated for tariff reduction, as well as steps to advance food security, increase supply chain performance, promote innovation, and improve regulatory transparency.

Beyond APEC, we are also working in other bilateral and multilateral settings, including the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, to build a more open, transparent, and fair economic environment in the region.

As Secretary Clinton has made clear, a successful working partnership between government and the private sector is essential to promoting U.S. interests overseas; our relationship with AmCham Macau in the five years since its founding is an excellent example of putting that theory into practice. Secretary Clinton has charged all of us at the State Department with ensuring that economics and market forces are at the center of U.S. foreign policy. Her vision, labeled "economic statecraft," recognizes that our foreign policy must evolve to keep pace with a world where security is shaped in boardrooms and on trading floors, not just on battlefields. It also acknowledges what many of you as business people already know, that America's global leadership is inextricably linked to our economic strength.

When we think of U.S. priorities for the Asia-Pacific, it is clear that many of those same issues are relevant to Macau. For example, expanding trade, investment and tourism, increasing regional economic integration, strengthening governance, and ensuring a level playing field for U.S. companies are all issues on which we work closely with Macau.

U.S. policy toward Macau is grounded in the U.S.-Macau Policy Act of 1999, and reflects continued U.S. support for Macau's autonomy and basic freedoms under the "one country, two systems" framework established in Macau's Basic Law. This support is manifested in our efforts to promote trade and investment; broaden law enforcement cooperation; bolster academic, educational, and cultural links; and provide high-quality consular services to U.S. citizens and Macau residents alike.

We also see the growing importance of this relationship manifested in the range and frequency of contacts between our governments and our people. Consulate General officers representing the State Department, the Commerce Department, and the Department of Agriculture, among others, travel frequently to Macau to meet with counterparts and discuss areas of mutual interest and concern.

In the midst of all of this activity, however, it is important to remember that our ties are grounded in a rich tradition -- a tradition that dates back to the earliest years of U.S. history; a tradition of mutual prosperity and cooperation that has enriched the lives of both our peoples.

Some of you may recall that I was here almost exactly one year ago at the Old Protestant Cemetery next to the Morrison Chapel to lay a wreath at the gravesite of Thomas Waldron, a fellow son of New Hampshire and the first U.S. Consul to Hong Kong, who died while on official business to Macau in 1844. He probably could not have imagined at the time the extent to which Macau would eventually prosper, much less how broad and dynamic a relationship we would one day share.

An even earlier proponent of U.S.-Macau relations was Edmund Roberts, a Diplomatic Agent appointed by President Andrew Jackson. Roberts died here in 1836. That they and other Americans, including the grandsons of two U.S. presidents and the grandfather of another, were laid to rest here is a testament to the early roots of our activity in the region and our strong ties to Macau.

Macau, as the first European settlement in East Asia, has made the most of its history as a bridge between East and West now for almost 500 years. It was Macau that first served as America's gateway to China, dating back to the arrival of the first U.S. Consul to Canton Major Samuel Shaw on the Empress of China in 1784. The expedition was financed by a well-known American patriot, Robert Morris, a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, who hoped to trade New England ginseng root for tea, silk, and porcelain.

The success of this venture led to repeat expeditions and eventually a flourishing trade through Macau. Chinese porcelain, traded through Macau, became a fixture at the tables of the well-to-do, and was used by President Thomas Jefferson at the White House for official functions. A short time later, U.S. clipper ships brought sea-otter pelts from the Pacific Northwest, sandalwood from Hawaii, and ginseng to Macau, broadening our trade links.

At the time, U.S. and other foreign merchants lived with their families in Macau for much of the year, a practice that one of my predecessors, Consul General Joe Donovan, has jokingly referred to as foreshadowing modern-day Macau's efforts to become a family-friendly, diversified resort destination. The first American medical missionary arrived in Macau in 1834, and served Chinese communities in the Pearl River Delta region for many years. In 1844, U.S. Commissioner and Minister Plenipotentiary to China Caleb Cushing signed a treaty with representatives of the Qing Court here in Macau, marking the beginning of official diplomatic relations between the United States and China.

The second half of the 19th century saw an increased movement of Chinese citizens to the United States, many of whom began their arduous journey to the West Coast via Macau. Over 100,000 Chinese immigrants came to the U.S. in the years 1850-70 to help build the first transcontinental railroad, and they formed the roots of today's large Chinese-American community.

When we look at U.S.-Macau relations today, we can see a number of concrete examples of a continued commitment on both sides to building on this shared history for our mutual benefit.

I don't need to tell any of you here today about Macau's remarkable growth over the past several years, or that Macau's GDP per capita, currently approaching US$70,000 per year, is now the highest in Asia. Per capita GDP, which increased at an annual rate of 12.9 percent from 2001 to 2009, increased by over 20 percent in each of the last two years, according to official statistics. While growth appears to have slowed somewhat this year, even this more modest growth is still impressive compared to most other economies in the region.

U.S. investors have played a significant role in Macau's recent prosperity, and their continuing success is critical to Macau's ability to attract additional foreign investment. We at the Consulate General are fully committed to working with our counterparts in the Macau government, as well as the private sector, to expand two-way trade and investment opportunities. Our joint achievements can be measured in the tremendous increase in U.S. investment over the past decade, which is estimated to exceed US$10 billion by the end of this year, ranking us second only after Hong Kong as a source of foreign direct investment into Macau.

Macau is today the undisputed gaming capital of the world, having surpassed Las Vegas in terms of gambling revenue back in 2006, and a number of you have played an active role in helping to reinvigorate that industry here. The massive investment by Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, and MGM Grand is just the latest and most visible example. U.S. investment has also contributed greatly to the leisure, tourism, and travel markets, as well as the education sector.

This growth in U.S. investment has only been possible because of the efforts of many of you here today who recognized Macau's unique position and have worked tirelessly to build successful companies that employ tens of thousands of Macau residents. As a representative of my country overseas, I have always been proud to say that American companies are good corporate citizens, and lead by example.

I think most of us would agree that there is still significant room for additional U.S. investment in Macau, particularly as the economy becomes more diverse, but that can only happen in an environment where foreign investors are treated fairly and in a transparent manner, particularly in areas such as labor recruitment and investor rights. We look forward to further close cooperation with the Macau government on ensuring that this supportive climate continues, to the benefit of all.

You also know, as the ones who work within the system every day to "grow" your businesses, that Macau faces a number of difficult challenges to sustaining its growth trajectory. While there are no easy answers to these problems -- a consequence of 554,000 people living on 29.9 square kilometers in one of the most densely populated places on Earth -- it is comforting to foreign investors to see these issues debated openly and publicly.

As a government, we will continue to work closely with Macau to address these challenges in areas such as infrastructure, housing, health, labor, immigration, transportation, and the environment. American companies are well situated to offer expertise on these issues, and we at the Consulate General look forward to continuing to work with AmCham to promote the benefits of additional U.S. investment in all of these areas. There is also tremendous opportunity for the development of public-private partnerships throughout the Macau economy, an approach that allows us to achieve important shared objectives with more efficient use of our limited resources.

Of course, Macau can also play an important role in spurring investment in the United States. America has always welcomed foreign investors, who value our transparency, openness, and strong rule of law. We at the Consulate General are always ready to assist with facilitating investment in the United States, and hope you will help to spread the word.

Just across the border, we are watching closely Macau's efforts to work with the Mainland on the joint development of Hengqing Island. We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the University of Macau over the years, and we look forward to engaging with the faculty and students when their campus relocates to Hengqing. I look forward to attending the opening ceremony of the new campus. I am also pleased to note that two major U.S. design firms are involved in the development of the Ocean Resort, scheduled to open by the end of the year.

It is too early to tell how far these development efforts will lead, but preferential tax rates and special customs treatment should prove something of a draw, even as Macau's own improved transportation links make it more accessible as part of the larger Pearl River Delta development region. Recent press reports of a new anti-corruption agency for Hengqing, if true, are another encouraging sign that China is serious about attracting foreign investment to the region.

China's Vice Minister for Science and Technology, Cao Jianlin, during a recent visit, reportedly urged Macau to invest more in the S&T sector, an area in which U.S. businesses can provide great expertise. I find it encouraging that Vice Minister Cao specifically noted the importance of Macau widening its cooperation with the international community, building on its competitive advantage as a platform for cooperation between the Mainland and the rest of the world. PRC leaders have already endorsed Chief Executive Chui's plans to diversify the economy in order to avoid overdependence on gaming and Mainland tourism, and to tackle corruption and improve governance.

Last year's wide-ranging agreement with Guangdong Province to promote bilateral cooperation in fields including economic matters, public welfare, and culture is further evidence of the Mainland's interest in building a firm foundation for Macau's continued development. Macau's Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with China, which came into effect in 2004, has fostered successive agreements liberalizing Macau's trade in goods and services with the Mainland, and facilitating investment and travel.

The United States has a strong interest in the successful, open, and transparent economic integration of the entire Pearl River Delta region, and we look forward to playing a continuing role in promoting cross-border trade in goods and services.

At the same time, as Macau and the Mainland continue to build more extensive ties, we will obviously maintain a strong interest in political developments here, and are hopeful that ongoing political reform will reflect the desire of the people of Macau to have a greater say in their governance.

Another area where we have enjoyed great success in our relations with Macau is in law enforcement, where our cooperation in training and enforcement activities has helped to counter a number of growing international challenges, such as money-laundering, narcotics trafficking, intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, and human smuggling and trafficking, while strengthening the rule of law. We remain committed to these efforts, and seek to find ways to expand our cooperation on these important issues to enhance regional security.

Macau has made significant progress in strengthening its regime for combating money laundering and terrorist financing since the U.S. Treasury Department launched its high-profile case against Macau's Banco Delta Asia in 2005. We are pleased to see Macau as an active member of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, and applaud its efforts to criminalize terrorist financing and screen accounts based on U.S. and UN designation lists. Macau also hosted U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network personnel last year at the Asia Pacific Regional Review Group meeting, under the auspices of the Financial Action Task Force's International Cooperation Review Group.

At the same time, as noted in the State Department's annual Money Laundering Report, we continue to have concerns over the lack of mandatory reporting requirements for cross-border currency movements and large currency transactions, as well as other potential vulnerabilities related to the heavy involvement of junket operators. No doubt, Macau's rapid development, and the large amounts of money and people flowing into Macau related to the gaming industry can create opportunities for illicit activities, and we welcome any and all opportunities for cooperation in addressing these potential vulnerabilities.

We appreciate statements from the Chief Executive reiterating his commitment to preventing any recurrence of the gang-related violence that plagued Macau in the past. Also, as many of you know, Macau was listed on the Tier Two Watch List in the State Department's annual trafficking in persons' report last year. More needs to be done, especially in the pursuit of criminal convictions for traffickers, but I would like to acknowledge Macau's continuing efforts to address its trafficking in persons' problem.

We have also worked hard at the Consulate General to strengthen our friendship with the people of Macau themselves through direct outreach to the community on a wide range of topics. Our public diplomacy efforts include speaker programs, seminars on study in the United States, programs at the American Corner hosted by the University of Macau, and of course a variety of consular services. The American Corner, established in 2004 to promote mutual understanding and strengthen the curriculum for American Studies, provides up-to-date reference materials and organizes regular events and activities, ranging from author readings to film workshops.

A Fulbright program to bring U.S. scholars to Macau has been growing steadily since its establishment in 2005. We have also sponsored over 30 government officials and representatives from the private sector and NGOs in fields such as law enforcement, finance, media, and public health to participate in the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program.

You may not know this, but Yung Wing, the very first Chinese citizen to earn a degree from a U.S. institution of higher education, was born on Pedro Island, just four miles southwest of Macau, and educated at the Morrison School here. After obtaining his BA from Yale in 1854, he later led the first official delegation of Chinese students to the United States in 1872. His "Chinese Education Mission" trained approximately 120 students for work as diplomats and technical advisors before the program ended in 1881.

Today, our EducationUSA program offers free advice to Macau students interested in applying to U.S. schools. Since 2008, State Department Regional English Language Officers have conducted training sessions and workshops at a variety of local institutions. In 2009, we established a new initiative to bring English Teaching Assistants to Macau through the Fulbright Program, one of the United States' longest-running exchange programs. To date, we have brought a total of 32 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants to Macau, including ten this year. I also encourage members of my own staff from the U.S. Consulate General to travel regularly to Macau to speak with students on American culture and other topics.

For nearly half a millenium, forces of history and geography have helped shape this unique corner of China into a natural bridge between East and West. Maintaining its reputation for transparency, good governance, rule of law, strong IPR protection, freedom of the press, an independent judiciary, and a vibrant civil society will ensure that Macau can continue to play that role well into the future. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you as Macau seeks to maximize its competitive advantages, and carve out an even greater role for itself in the region.

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美國駐香港總領事楊甦棣先生澳門美國商會致辭 -- 美國與澳門關係 - 過去、現在、未來




今天的演講主題是「美國與澳門關係 - 過去、現在、未來」,我們從美國在亞太地區以至全球戰略之中,審視美國與澳門愈見廣闊、頻繁的接觸。在座各位應該知道,總統奧巴馬已經把美國與亞太地區關係重新注入活力,列為其中一項首要的外交政策。此項戰略體現於提升雙邊安全聯盟,增強美國與新興大國包括中國的工作關係,參與地區多邊機構,拓展貿易和投資商機,強化保障區域安全的軍事存在,推進民主和人權。


上月在俄羅斯海參崴舉行的亞太經合組織首腦會議是美國推動地區經濟合作的重要平台。亞太經合組織二十一個成員經濟體擁有約三十億消費者市場,佔全球貿易額44%,佔全球經濟產量56% (相等於超過三十九萬億美元)。今年部份主要經濟目標已經喜見成績,其中包括五十四種環保產品將享有關稅寛減優惠,以及加強食品安全,提升供應鏈表現,鼓勵創意,和改善條例監管透明度一系列措施。






在這些交往當中,非常重要的一點是,我們的聯繫是建基於過去深厚的傳統 ─ 一個可追溯至美國早期歷史的傳統;這個傳統帶來共同繁榮及合作,改善了我們兩地人民的生活。

也許有些朋友還記得,去年這個時候,我曾經到過位於馬禮遜堂 旁邊的舊基督教墳場,在第一任美國駐香港領事﹑來自新罕布什爾州 的托馬斯‧威爾莊墓前致送花圈。他在1844年於澳門擔任公務期間去逝。相信他當時沒有想過澳門日後會如此繁榮,更不會想到澳門與美國的關係,會發展至如此廣濶及生氣勃勃。

另一個更早期的美國與澳門關係倡導者是埃德蒙‧羅伯茨,他是總統傑克遜 委任的外交代理 ,在1936年於澳門逝世。連同其他長眠於澳門的美國人,包括兩位美國總統的孫兒,一位總統的祖父,都證明我們很早已經與澳門有了密切聯繫。

澳門是歐洲人在東亞的第一個居留地,過去近五百年扮演著連繫東西方橋樑的角色,她亦是美國進入中國的第一道大門,在1784年,第一任美國駐廣東領事Samuel Shaw少校 就是乘坐「中國皇后」號抵達澳門, 進入中國。船隊由美國著名愛國人士羅伯特‧莫里斯資助,他是簽署《獨立宣言》和《美國憲法》的人士之一,他希望藉著商船展開花旗蔘貿易,從中國運回茶葉、絲綢及陶瓷。

完成首次航程後,繼往開來,最後成功開啟了在澳門蓬勃的貿易事業。通過澳門貿易,中國陶瓷成為美國富裕家庭飯桌上常用的器皿,總統杰佛遜 亦在白宮的宴會中使用中國陶瓷。不久之後,美國商船運載太平洋西北的海獺皮、夏威夷檀香木、以及人蔘到澳門,開拓了雙邊貿易。

當時,美國及其他外國商人通常與家人定居澳門,我的前任總領事唐若文曾經說笑指, 這也奠定澳門今天發展成為適合家庭消遣的多元化渡假勝地。美國第一位醫務傳教士於1834年抵達澳門,在珠江三角洲為本地社區展開多年服務。到1844年,美國特派中國公使 顧盛在澳門與清廷代表簽署條約,正式展開美國與中國之間的外交關係。



不用我說,今天大家都知道澳門在過去幾年輝煌的經濟增長,其人均本地生產總值 每年接近七萬美元,已列為亞洲之冠。根據官方統計,由2001至2009年,澳門人均本地生產總值每年增長率達到12.9%,而在過去兩年,年增長率更超過20%。即使今年澳門的經濟增長稍為放緩,但相較區內經濟,仍然優秀。


澳門是當今無可爭議的世界博彩業的龍頭老大,2006年博採業營運額首度超過拉斯維加斯,在座的很多位在幫助重振這裡的賭業發揮了積極作用。拉斯維加斯金沙、 永利度假村、梅高美等巨額投資就是最新和最明顯的例子。美國的投資還為休閒、旅遊業、旅遊市場以及教育行業做出了貢獻。



我們期待著與澳門特區政府進一步加強合作,確保這種對各方都有利的投資氛圍能繼續下去。大家也知道﹐澳門持續發展及增長軌跡所面臨的許多困難和挑戰, 雖然解決這些問題並不容易 -- 五十五萬人口生活在不到三十平方公里的世界上人口最稠密的空間之一 -- 外國投資者欣慰地看到這些議題可以公開得以談論。












你們可能不知道﹐容閎第一個在美國高等學府取得學位的中國人是生在佩德羅島(南屏鎮) ﹐位於澳門南北面四公里。他在澳門馬禮遜學校讀書。1854年他取得了耶魯大學的文學學士學位。隨後﹐在1872年他率領首個官方的中國學生代表團到美國。他的「中國教育使命」計劃在1881年結束﹐共訓練了差不多一百二十個學生成為外交官和技術顧問。




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