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    Xi Jinping Arrives in Gambling Hub Macau Amid China's Anti-Corruption Fight

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    During his visit to the Macau administrative region, the Chinese leader will visit local residents and review the development of the region, the fast growing economy of which heavily relies on the gambling industry.

    MOSCOW, December 19 (Sputnik) — President Xi Jinping arrived in the Macau administrative region Friday on his first official visit to mark the 15th anniversary of the gambling hub’s transfer back to Chinese rule, and to discuss plans for its development amid the country's anti-corruption campaign.

    The Chinese leader said he would visit local residents and review the development of the region, the fast growing economy of which heavily relies on the gambling industry. He also said he would discuss the long-term development of Macau “in a more steady manner on the right track”, as reported by Xinhua news agency.

    China’s anti-corruption campaign was launched back in 2012 when Xi came into power, and has already seen a big drop in Macau's gambling revenues following steps taken to prevent the region from being used for money laundering and capital flight, as reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). President Xi's visit looks toward development in areas outside the gambling industry.

    Gambling revenues are expected to fall by 30 percent in December following joint efforts between Macao’s quasi-central bank and China’s ministry of Public Security in taking “a much more direct and active role” in supervising the gambling industry, WSJ reported.

    On Saturday Xi is expected to attend the inauguration of Macau’s fourth-term government. Earlier this year, Macau’s Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai was re-elected without popular vote in a process controlled by Beijing, leading residents to demand full suffrage.

    The president’s visit also comes in light of the recent anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

    Macau, formerly a Portuguese colony, was transferred to Chinese rule on December 19 with effect on December 20, 1999 under China’s “one country, two systems” policy.

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