China picks new leaders for Macau, replaces economy chief

HONG KONG – China has appointed a slate of new officials to head the world’s top gambling hub of Macau, changing key roles including the city’s economy and justice secretaries.

The appointments in Macau, a special administrative region of China, come as the city’s casino industry is experiencing tumbling revenues, and ahead of an expected visit by President Xi Jinping this month to mark 20 years of Chinese rule.

Macau, which neighbours China’s other special administrative region, Hong Kong, announced the changes on a government website late on Sunday (Dec 1).

They followed nominations by soon-to-be Macau chief executive Ho Iat Seng, who will be formally sworn in on Dec 20.

Although anti-government protests have roiled the former British colony of Hong Kong for nearly six months, Macau has seen little opposition to Beijing’s rule.

Macau-born Mr Ho, the sole candidate approved to run for leader, was chosen by a 400-member pro-Beijing committee to lead the enclave for the next five years.

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