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Opening Remarks addressed by António Leça

   "Once upon a time... on July 3, 1844, here in Macau, and not very far from this very building, the Viceroy of Canton, Ki Ying, and one of your fellow-countrymen, Ambassador Caleb Cushing, signed the first Sino-American Treaty.

   It was the beginning of our history in common!

   Cushing then rented a house in Macau, which doubled as his residence and the first North-American Consulate for China. Unfortunately, in 1855, the American Embassy moved to Beijing...never to return to Macau

   The history of our relations, which is now 156 years old, was marked by highs and lows, by periods of great closeness as well as occasions when we drifted apart. However, today, at a time of a new millennium, at a time of new administration, we may without any doubt, state that our history in common will mark, and will become the fundamental reference of a new era: "The Pacific era".

   Although Macau's size has never been an obstacle to the development of friendly relations with the United States, we believe that the future will further strengthen our bilateral ties".

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