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Cablegate: Codel Berman Meeting with Macau Secretary For

VZCZCXRO9456
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHHK #1601 2360906
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240906Z AUG 09
FM AMCONSUL HONG KONG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8389
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3574

UNCLAS HONG KONG 001601

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/CM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL OREP MC
SUBJECT: CODEL BERMAN MEETING WITH MACAU SECRETARY FOR
ADMINISTRATION AND JUSTICE FLORINDA CHAN

REF: HONG KONG 1587

(U) Sensitive but unclassified -- please protect accordingly.
Not for dissemination outside USG channels.

1. (SBU) Summary: In their August 23 courtesy call with
Macau Secretary for Justice and Administration Florinda Chan,
CoDel Berman discussed international financial crimes and
implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on the
DPRK. The delegation also discussed Macau's political
development and the rule of law. End summary.

2. (SBU) Welcoming CoDel Berman to Macau for a courtesy call
August 23, Secretary for Justice and Administration Florinda
Chan outlined recent steps Macau has taken to step up its
ability to combat international financial crimes. Chan
praised the assistance received from the United States in
developing Macau's 2006 anti-money laundering law. Since
then, Macau has worked to implement recommendations from the
Financial Action Task Force and other international
standards, including establishing a financial intelligence
unit.

3. (SBU) Asked by Rep. Kingston whether Macau had a threshold
for reporting cash transactions, Chan said Macau was actively
studying regional and international practice. (Note: Macau
does in fact have an MOP 500,000 (about USD 64,500)
transaction reporting requirement. End note.) Chan also
addressed Kingston's question about data privacy by
explaining Macau law allows for reporting and investigation
of suspicious transactions, but on a confidential basis that
protects individual privacy. Rep. Hinojosa asked about
Macau's ability to share information to combat tax evasion,
to which Secretary Chan replied that Macau's Legislative
Assembly had passed legislation on double taxation at the end
of July that allows sharing of tax information. Chairman
Berman asked whether Macau was implementing UNSCRs on the
DPRK, and Secretary Chan assured him that, as the PRC adopted
the resolutions (the central government manages Macau's
foreign relations), Macau itself then implemented their terms
as well.

4. (SBU) Rep. Faleomavaega asked Secretary Chan about the
prospects for democratic development in Macau. Secretary
Chan recalled that Macau had begun directly electing a third
of its Legislative Assembly in 1979. Since the handover,
that portion has expanded to twelve seats (ten are indirectly
returned by economic and social sectors, and seven are
appointed.) That number has held steady for the last eight
years, Chan told the CoDel, because Macau has been focused on
eliminating areas of election practice vulnerable to
corruption. While Macau's Basic Law does not spell out the
same path to universal suffrage as Hong Kong's, it does allow
for amendments, and she expected the number of
directly-elected seats would expand in future.

5. (SBU) Chairman Berman asked the Secretary about the rule
of law, to which Chan replied that the five major legal codes
-- commercial, criminal, criminal procedure, civil and civil
procedure -- reflected the Portuguese legal tradition,
maintaining an independent legal regime with which Macau
people were "very comfortable." Responding to a question
from the Chairman, she stated that the media remains free to
criticize Beijing even under the terms of the new Law on
Safeguarding National Security (i.e. Article 23 legislation).

6. (U) Participants:

United States
-------------
Chairman Howard Berman
Hon. Eni Faleomavaega
Hon. Ruben Hinojosa
Hon. Jack Kingston
Acting Consul General Christopher Marut
Consulate and Congressional Staff

Macau
-----
Secretary for Administration and Justice Ms. Florinda Chan
MSARG Staff

7. (U) CoDel Berman cleared this message.
MARUT

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