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June 23, 2017

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Macau representative office in Taiwan opens

TAIPEI -- Macau formally opened a representative office in Taipei Sunday, giving the special administrative region a greater presence in Taiwan that it expects will deepen trade, tourism, cultural and education ties with Taiwan.

Alexis Tam Chon Weng, chief of the cabinet of the Office of the Chief Executive in Macau, said at the inauguration ceremony, that the opening of the Macau Economic and Cultural Office was more than just "a joyous occasion for people from Macau and Taiwan.

"It is also an important milestone in the development of closer, mutually beneficial and peaceful relations between the two sides," Tam said.

He said the representative office will promote economic, cultural, travel, education, sports and health cooperation between Macau and Taiwan and provide services for Macau citizens working, studying, living or traveling in Taiwan.

The office will also help Macau citizens in Taiwan cope with emergencies and will cooperate with Taiwanese authorities in cracking down on crime, Tam said.

The Macau and Hong Kong special administrative regions have been preparing for the opening of offices in Taiwan since last December because of their growing exchanges with the island.

The Macau office will be headed by Nadia Leong, while John Leung will become director of the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office when it opens on May 15.

Leong, Zhang Yu, Macau's secretary for social affairs and culture, and representatives from Macau's education, culture and travel sectors were among those attending the opening ceremony.

Yen Chung-kuang, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Department under Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said there are currently more than 4,300 students from Macau in Taiwan, the most of any overseas contingent, and around 60,000 Macau residents visited Taiwan last year.

He said the figures reflect the close relationship between the two sides, and noted that Taiwan hopes to strengthen cooperation with Macau on air travel, crime fighting and cultural and creative industries in the future.

Officials said the Macau office, which will be located in the Taipei 101 building, will have a staff of around 10 to 15 people.

Though Hong Kong and Macau are located very close to Taiwan and people from the two places have visited and done business in Taiwan for years, they have not had official presences here because of tensions between Taipei and Beijing.

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