The Chinese president praised Macau's stability and prosperity in his New Year's message, adding that he wants the same for Hong Kong, a special administrative region that has been challenging Beijing with pro-democracy protests since June 2019.
Xi singled out Macau as a successful example of the implementation of the 'one country, two systems' principle, which grants both Macau and Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy for 50 years at the executive, legislative and judicial levels, whereas Beijing is in charge of foreign and defense affairs.
"A few days ago [on December 20], I attended the celebrations of 20th anniversary since Macau returned to the homeland, and I was impressed by the prosperity and stability" of the former Portuguese colony, he said.
According to the Chinese president, Macau's success "shows that the 'one country, two systems' principle is fully applicable, achievable, and popular."
Xi also addressed the instability that has been sweeping Hong Kong since June 2019.
"In recent months our hearts have been concerned about the situation in Hong Kong. Without a harmonious and stable environment, how can people live in peace?" - he asked.
"I sincerely wish all the best for Hong Kong and our Hong Kong compatriots," Xi said, adding that "the whole country" wants "the stability and the prosperity" of the former British colony.