MACAO, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in Macao via the Gongbei cross-boundary checkpoint, which connects Macao with neighboring Chinese mainland city Zhuhai, Saturday morning, kicking off a two-day inspection tour of the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
It was Xi's first visit to Macao since he assumed the office of the Chinese vice president in March 2008.
Upon his arrival, Xi was greeted by Macao SAR Chief Executive Ho Hau Wah and other principal officials of the SAR government.
In his brief speech to the press at the checkpoint, Xi said the main purpose of his two-day visit is to see local residents, inspire Macao people with strength and confidence to tide through the global financial crisis and congratulate on the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to the Chinese motherland.
Macao will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its return to the motherland in December 2009.
Since the handover, "Macao has made eye-catching achievements in its development in different fields," Xi said, adding: "the central government is deeply concerned about the impact of the global financial crisis on Macao's economy and the livelihood of the local people."
"During this visit, I want to see myself as many places and people as possible within such a limited period of time, experience the profound changes of Macao since its return and have first-hand knowledge of the current situation of the economy and people's livelihood," he said.
Xi also asked the press to convey his heartfelt regards to the people of Macao.
The vice president was scheduled to make an inspection tour of the East Asian Games Stadium, the Ruins of St. Paul's, the Macao Museum and other places in Macao. He will deliver a speech at a welcoming banquet held by the Macao SAR government later Saturday.