Macau entrepreneur and political heavyweight Ma Man-kei passed away in Beijing at the age of 95, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
Ma, who is said to have died of illness at 6 pm Monday, was described by the Chinese state news agency as “a distinguished social activist, renowned patriot, well-known businessman in Macau, and a close friend of the Communist Party of China”.
He has served as vice chairman of the eighth, ninth, tenth and 11th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the political advisory body on the mainland, since 1993.
His body will be flown to Macau for burial. Some Chinese leaders are expected to travel to Macau to attend the funeral, Wenweipo newspaper reported.
Born in Nanhai county in Guangdong province in 1919, Ma left his hometown during the Sino-Japanese War and moved to Hong Kong before finally settling in Macau.
During the 1950s, he proactively helped the Communist Party to rebuild the country by exporting necessities to the mainland. He enjoyed close links with earlier generations of Chinese leaders.
In 1998, reformist leader Deng Xiaoping personally wrote a title for a poetry publication of Ma. In 2007, the country’s then president Hu Jintao is said to have paid Ma a visit at a Beijing hospital during the Lunar New Year.
In Macau, Ma was the vice-chairman of the committee for drafting the basic law and had played a significant role in the preparation of Macau’s handover from Portuguese rule in 1999. He was also the permanent president of the Macau Chamber of Commerce.
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