Wang Zhiming is the new director of the Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Macau, a representative of the office confirmed to Portuguese news agency Lusa. Mr Wang will replace Li Gang (pictured) as Beijing’s main representative in Macau.
“It’s true, we have a new director. Li Gang has left the post today [Thursday],” Bian Tao, deputy head of the coordination department of the Liaison Office, told Lusa.
Mr Wang was until now deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council. He had previously served as deputy director of the Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Hong Kong, where he was responsible for youth affairs.
Mr Li had assumed the post of director of the Liaison Office in Macau in early 2013. He spent more than three years in office, a period during which Macau’s economy contracted amid a fall in gaming revenues.
The anti-corruption crackdown on the mainland has been perceived by several gaming industry observers as having had a knock-on effect on the Macau gambling market.
China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection – the country’s top anti-corruption watchdog – said in June that it would widen its inspections to include, for the first time, the agency under the State Council responsible for Hong Kong and Macau affairs.
Mr Bian told Lusa that the change in the Liaison Office was not linked to any “criticism”.
“It was not for any wrongdoing. He [Mr Li] was transferred to a similar if not higher position, although he hasn’t been appointed yet,” Mr Bian was quoted saying, adding that Mr Li is highly regarded in the mainland for his work in Macau.
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"There is still no clarity about when border easing for Macau will occur. In the end these changes are needed to see a rebound for Macau business"
Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Shirley Yang
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein