Speeches and Remarks
Remarks by Consul General Stephen M. Young at U.S. Independence Day Reception in Macau
July 6, 2012
(As Prepared For Delivery)
Chief Executive Chui, Ladies and Gentlemen, friends! Good afternoon!
Thank you for joining me and my colleagues from the U.S. Consulate for this celebration of America’s birthday! We are particularly appreciative of Chief Executive Chui for representing the Government of Macau tonight. Every time I read about those sky-high Macau GDP growth rates, it reminds me just how busy you all are. So I appreciate your taking the time to come celebrate the 236th anniversary of the independence of the United States.
Each time I visit Macau I am struck by the warm welcome you extend to Americans. This should come as no surprise, given Macau's long history of welcoming foreigners. In fact, last October I had the opportunity to place a wreath at the gravesite of the very first American Consul to be posted to Macau, Thomas Waldron, who was laid to rest here in 1844. He was a trailblazer for the rest of the American community and for the Consulate, and would no doubt be pleased by the growth of Macau's relationship with the United States and by Macau's recent development.
For Americans, Independence Day is an opportunity to celebrate the qualities that make our country great. Last year, President Obama remarked at the White House that the "small band of patriots who signed their names to the Declaration of Independence and risked their lives for freedom might be surprised to see their legacy all these years later: A nation that's led revolutions in commerce, sent a man to the moon … fought for democracy and served as a beacon of hope around the world."
As Macau moves forward, I'd encourage you to consider just how far you all can take development of this unique corner of China. For example, I was impressed by the discussion of political reform that took place here this past winter, and encourage you to continue that dialogue. As you work to achieve your vision of Macau's future, the United States will remain committed to maintaining and building upon our history of partnership and friendship here. In addition to our work with the Macau Government on a range of issues, including the promotion of American business opportunities here, my consulate team and I strive to strengthen our friendship with the Macau people directly through speaker programs, seminars by our EducationUSA team that offer free, objective advice on studying in the United States, programs at our American Center at the University of Macau, and through the consular services that we provide here regularly.
One area where we see room for growth in our friendship is tourism. Macau has seen its tourist arrivals surge and we similarly want to invite more of you to visit the United States. In a short while, we'll play a new music video called "Land of Dreams" that highlights in music and images the variety of experiences our beautiful country offers. Our "Land of Dreams" is a little different from your "City of Dreams," but no less exciting!
I would like to thank you for close to 170 years of hospitality and pledge to continue working to strengthen the relationship between our two peoples in the days to come. Now may I invite you to join me and Chief Executive Chui in raising a toast to the people of the United States and the people of Macau!