Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, Ip Peng Kin, led a delegation from Macao to participate in the 4th Global Mazu Culture Forum (“the Forum”) and the 21st China - Meizhou Mazu Cultural Tourism Festival on Meizhou Island in Putian, Fujian Province from 31st October to 2nd November, and met with Member of the Standing Committee and Chief of the United Front Work Department of the Putian Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Zheng Chunhong, and Deputy Director of the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Fujian Provincial People’s Government, Liu Lianghui, among other officials during the visit.
The delegates from Macao include Deputy Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Cheng Wai Tong, Vice President of Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chan Kai Chon, and Head of Destination Marketing Department of MGTO, Betty Fok, among others.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the inscription of Mazu belief and customs on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Under the theme of “Mazu culture･maritime civilization･cultural exchange”, this edition of the Forum was jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, Macao SAR Government and Fujian Provincial People’s Government. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Zheng Jianbang, attended the opening ceremony. The congratulatory letter from Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, Chui Sai On, was also presented on the occasion. During the opening ceremony, Vice Governor of the Fujian Provincial People’s Government, Lin Baojin, Senior Inspector of the Bureau for International Exchange and Cooperation (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs Office) of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, Man Hongwei, Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China, Zhang Zhanhai, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Gao Xiang, and Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ip Peng Kin, delivered remarks among others.
In speaking at the opening ceremony, Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ip Peng Kin, remarked that Mazu culture has radiated far-reaching influence across the coastal region of China as well as countries and regions along the Belt and Road across East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia. Over time, it has accumulated a profound impact on different aspects ranging from social mentality, customs and ethics, to people’s pursuit in life and value orientation. He pointed out that having a solid foundation and enhancement in culture has a significant meaning and effect on Macao’s development into a “world centre of tourism and leisure”. Amid Macao’s progress to become a “commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries”, cultural integration and connection is a prerequisite and key to mutual relations and exchange. Furthermore, culture is the foundation and core driver that helps Macao attain the mission of becoming an “exchange and cooperation base where Chinese culture prevails and different cultures flourish in harmony”. Besides the above, Internet Plus can be leveraged as a vast new enhancer for propagation of Mazu culture.
Member of the Standing Committee and Chief of the United Front Work Department of the Putian Municipal Committee of the CPC, Zheng Chunhong, and Deputy Director of the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Fujian Provincial People’s Government, Liu Lianghui, joined other officials to meet with the Macao delegation for an exchange of perspectives. Ip Peng Kin presented an overview of the latest tourism and cultural development in Macao, with the hope to expand collaboration with Fujian based on the current progress, and to leverage Mazu culture as a mutual link to enhance exchange and concerted development in tourism and culture between Fujian and Macao. At present, daily flights run between Macao and Fujian. In the first nine months of 2019, Macao has welcomed over 710,000 visitors from Fujian, which stands as one of the major contributors of visitations from the Mainland to Macao.
The 4th Global Mazu Culture Forum featured 50 program activities including one themed forum, ten parallel sub-forums and the 21st China - Meizhou Mazu Cultural Tourism Festival. During their stay in Fujian, the delegation paid a familiarization visit to different attractions in Jinjiang including Wudianshi Traditional Blocks, Longshan Temple, Anping Bridge and Cao’an Temple to learn more about the development of the historic remains and tourism resources