Susana Chou: Evergreen Stalwart on Macao's Political Stage
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Susana Chou: Evergreen Stalwart on Macao's Political Stage

Susana Chou (Cao Qizhen in mandarin), born in December 1941 in Ningbo, Jiangsu Province, grew up in Shanghai. After graduating from the Physics Department of Anhui University, she went to Paris to study French language and literature. She settled in Macao in 1968 and worked for her father Cao Guangbiao's company.

In 1976, Susana Chou became the sole woman elected to the Macao legislative Assembly. On October 12, 1999, she was elected president of the First Legislative Council of Macao SAR, which came into effect upon Macao's return to China on December 21, 1999. Susana Chou, famous for her honesty and courage, held this position for the next decade.

Susana Chou was also a member of the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee (CPPCC) National Committee, member of the drafting committee of Macao SAR basic law, board chairperson of Macao World Trade Center and honorary consul of the French government in Macao.

After taking up the position, Chou's main preoccupation was translating Portuguese legislation into Chinese, some of it so difficult she had problems understanding it herself. To promote Chinese language in the SAR, she spoke Chinese when presiding over the first council conference of Macao SAR. This, as the Macao media reported, was "the first time ever in Macao legislative history". During the past ten years the legislative council has been dedicated to nurturing bilingual legislative talents and to making both Chinese and Portuguese documents easy to understand. After a decade of efforts, the work of translating legislation has finished.

During her ten years of service, Susana Chou and the legislative council reviewed 140 laws, including some that have far-reaching impact on Macao's development such as Law on the Management of Entertainment Business and Lottery Industry.

Susana Chou is a household name in Macao, not only for her work in legislation but also for her frugality. She did not once during her ten years on the legislative council claim reimbursement of any expenses, be it for petrol, air tickets, or travel allowances. She also quit all personal and business positions to devote all her time to legislative work. Now that she has stepped down, she plans to manage the charity foundation she set up some time ago.

Chou has plenty of other activities to keep her busy in her retirement. She is a member of the CPPCC Standing Committee and has been selected deputy director of the Macao Basic Law Committee of the National People's Congress Standing Committee. She writes a blog expressing her opinions on current events and life experiences and she finds responses to it a convenient way of keeping in touch with different views. Chou says she intends to use her past experiences in different areas to carry on contributing to Macao's development.

In last year's CPPCC session, Susana Chou suggested building top-notch universities as a basis of social development. Without first-class universities, there can be no nurturing of excellent talents, which will in future affect both urban and social development.

(Source:,, Translated by

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