Macau is to be given powers to administer 85 square kilometres (33 sq miles) of water surrounding the territory, the city’s government said in a statement on Wednesday.
But if any land reclamation takes place in those waters, gaming venues would not be allowed, it added.
Any fresh proposal for land reclamation involving Macao’s newly demarcated waters would be reported to the central government; and there would be no gaming venues or commercial gaming activities in such areas, the city’s Chief Executive, Fernando Chui Sai On, said in a statement.
Under the new arrangement for administration of Macau’s boundaries, announced on Wednesday by China’s State Council, the territory will also be responsible for administering an area of land where the land border gate with Zhuhai is located.
The statement also quoted Wong Sio Chak, Macau’s Secretary for Security and interim Director General of the Macao Customs Service, saying the territory would introduce a system of maritime inspection with 24-hour-per-day capability.
President Xi Jinping announced during a visit to Macau last December, the initiation of talks to define the role Macau could play in managing what are referred to in official circles as its “customary waters”.
At the time of Macau’s handover from Portuguese administration in 1999, there was no provision for the Macau government to manage the waters surrounding the territory.
Wednesday’s statement said that the granting now of such powers by the central government would enable the territory to boost its cooperation with neigbouring Guangdong province and help to develop the regional and national maritime economy.
A decree of the State Council outlining the new administrative division map for Macau is likely to be issued on December 20, added the statement.
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