Consul General Clifford A. Hart, Jr. Remarks at U.S. Independence Day Reception in Macau

Consul General Hart exchanges toasts with Secretary for Administration and Justice of the Macao SAR, Ms Chan Hoi Fan.
Consul General Hart exchanges toasts with Secretary for Administration and Justice of the Macao SAR, Ms Chan Hoi Fan. (State Dept.)
Consul General Hart exchanges toasts with Secretary for Administration and Justice of the Macao SAR, Ms Chan Hoi Fan.

Grand Hyatt Macau
Thursday, June 30, 2016

Secretary Chan, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, good afternoon! It is my great pleasure to be with you today as the United States marks its 240th birthday. I’m grateful for the attendance of many members of Macau’s thriving American community, including the superb team of U.S. citizen wardens. Linda, Georgia, Reggie, and Mark — thanks again for your service to the American community for yet another year. I would like to express my special gratitude to our generous donors whose contributions made this celebration possible, as well as to the Grand Hyatt Macau.

As many of you know, this is my last celebration of America’s national day with you as the U.S. Consul General to Macau. It’s been a privilege to serve here for the past three years, and I’m delighted to complete my diplomatic career in a place that is really close to my heart. My first diplomatic assignment began nearby, in Guangzhou, over 32 years ago. From one end of the Pearl River Delta to the other, with thirty years in between, I feel as though I’ve come full circle. I am honored to have worked directly with many of you to advance the U.S.-Macau relationship. Together, we’ve built successes in commerce, law enforcement, education, and other important sectors. This dynamic US-Macau relationship was an established reality when I reported for duty in 2013, and I am confident it will continue to unfold and deepen during the tenure of my successor, Ambassador Kurt Tong, who arrives in August.

Our new Deputy Consul General, Thomas Hodges, is here tonight and brings a wealth of experience to his central role at the Mission. The United States maintains a special relationship with Macau under the “one country, two systems” framework. We have strong shared interests with Macau and a long history of cooperation, perhaps best represented by the successes we’ve seen in business and trade.

For that reason, I’d especially like to thank the American Chamber of Commerce in Macau under the strong leadership of Paul Tse and Charles Choy for its tireless advocacy of American business in the SAR.

I am proud that American firms have played a central role in Macau’s contemporary prosperity, having invested over 10 billion US Dollars here in the past decade. American companies have been great local citizens, bringing indispensable skills, investing in the local community, and early on leading the way on diversification.

As I said to Chief Executive Chui over lunch today, I am confident American companies will remain steadfast partners of Macau for years to come, even as the SAR authorities for their part proceed with a fair and transparent review of gaming licenses and help our firms address important labor challenges.

The US and SAR Governments have accomplished much together, and the continued expansion of our cooperation will benefit both Macau and America. I invite friends in Macau to seek out new opportunities to enhance cooperation.

For its part, the Consulate General team is committed to expanding dialogue on trade, cultural exchanges, law enforcement, and other issues. All here will surely agree that regular, open communication between our governments and our peoples will strengthen our engagement.

In that spirit, and with special pleasure on the 240th Anniversary of American Independence, please join me in raising a toast: To the people of the Macau Special Administrative Region and of the entire People’s Republic of China!