Macau

Introduction Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Portugal on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 20 December 1999. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be practiced in Macau, and that Macau will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
History

The recorded history of Macau can be traced back to the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC), when the region now called Macau came under the jurisdiction of Panyu County, Nanhai Prefecture of the province of Guangdong.[11] The first recorded inhabitants of the area were people seeking refuge in Macau from invading Mongols, during the Southern Song Dynasty.[13] Later in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD), fishermen migrated to Macau from various parts of Guangdong and Fujian provinces. However, Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century.[14] In 1535, the Portuguese traders obtained the right to anchor ships in Macau's harbours and the right to carry out trading activities, though not the right to stay onshore.[15] Around 1552–1553, they obtained a temporary permission to erect storage sheds onshore, in order to dry out goods drenched by sea water. They later built some rudimentary stone-houses around the area now called Nam Van. But not until 1557 did the Portuguese establish a permanent settlement in Macau, at an annual rent of 500 taels of silver.

St. Paul's Cathedral by George Chinnery (1774—1852). The cathedral was built in 1602 and destroyed by fire in 1835. Today only the southern stone façade remains.

Since then, more Portuguese settled in Macau to engage in trading activities, and there were demands for self-administration. In 1576, Macau was established as an episcopal see by Pope Gregory XIII.[17] In 1583, the Portuguese in Macau were permitted to form a Senate to handle various issues concerning their social and economic affairs, with the understanding that there was no transfer of sovereignty.[13] Macau prospered as a port but was the target of repeated attempts by the Dutch to conquer it in the 17th century. Following the Opium War (1839–42), Portugal occupied Taipa and Coloane in 1851 and 1864 respectively. In 1887, the Qing government was forced to sign the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Amity and Commerce, under which China ceded to Portugal the right of "perpetual occupation and government of Macau"; conversely, Portugal pledged to seek China's approval before transferring Macau to another country. Macau officially became a Portuguese colony.

After the Qing Dynasty was overthrown following the Xinhai Revolution, in 1928 the Kuomintang government officially notified Portugal that it was abrogating the former treaty, and in its place the Sino-Portuguese Friendship and Trade Treaty was signed. Making only a few provisions concerning tariff principles and matters relating to business affairs, the treaty failed to mention the question with regard to the sovereignty of Macau. Consequently, the situation of Portuguese occupation and government of Macau remained unchanged.[19] After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Beijing government declared the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Amity and Commerce to be invalid as an “unequal treaty” imposed by foreigners on China. However, Beijing was not ready to settle the treaty question, leaving the maintenance of “the status quo” until a more appropriate time.

The flag used by the Portuguese Government of Macau until 1999.

In 1966, with the general dissatisfaction of the Portuguese government and under the influence of the Cultural Revolution in mainland China, more serious riots broke out in Macau. The most serious one is the so-called 12-3 incident that resulted in more than 200 people killed or injured. On January 28, 1967 the Portuguese government signed a statement of apology. This marked the beginning of equal treatment and recognition of Chinese identity and of de facto Chinese control of the colony, as an official apology underlined the fact that after 1949, administration of Macau continued only at the behest of the mainland communist government.[22] Shortly after the Carnation Revolution leftist military coup of 1974 in Lisbon, the newly assigned government of Portugal was determined to relinquish all its overseas possessions. In 1976, Lisbon redefined Macau as a "Chinese territory under Portuguese administration," and granted it a large measure of administrative, financial and economic autonomy. Portugal and China agreed in 1979 to regard Macau as "a Chinese territory under (temporary) Portuguese administration". Negotiations between the Chinese and Portuguese governments on the question of Macau started in June 1986. In 1987, an international treaty, known as the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration, was signed to make Macau a special administrative region of China. The Chinese government assumed sovereignty over Macau on December 20, 1999.

Geography Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Geographic coordinates: 22 10 N, 113 33 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 28.2 sq km
land: 28.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: less than one-sixth the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 0.34 km
regional border: China 0.34 km
Coastline: 41 km
Maritime claims: not specified
Climate: subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers
Terrain: generally flat
Elevation extremes: lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Coloane Alto 172.4 m
Natural resources: NEGL
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: typhoons
Environment - current issues: NA
Environment - international agreements: party to: Marine Dumping (associate member), Ship Pollution (associate member)
Geography - note: essentially urban; an area of land reclaimed from the sea measuring 5.2 sq km and known as Cotai now connects the islands of Coloane and Taipa; the island area is connected to the mainland peninsula by three bridges
Politics

The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, Macau's constitution promulgated by China's National People's Congress in 1993, specify that Macau's social and economic system, lifestyle, rights, and freedoms are to remain unchanged for at least 50 years after the transfer of sovereignty to China in 1999.[9] Under the principle of "one country, two systems", Macau enjoys a high degree of autonomy in all areas except in defence and foreign affairs.[9] Macau officials, rather than PRC officials, run Macau through the exercise of separate executive, legislative, and judicial powers, as well as the right to final adjudication.[26] Macau maintains its own separate currency, customs territory, immigration and border controls, and police force.

The Macau government is headed by the chief executive, who is appointed by the central government upon the recommendation of an election committee, whose three hundred members are nominated by corporate and community bodies. The recommendation is made by an election within the committee. The chief executive's cabinet comprise five policy secretaries and is advised by the Executive Council that has between seven and eleven members.[30] Edmund Ho Hau Wah, a community leader and former banker, is the first chief executive of the Macau SAR, replacing General Vasco Rocha Vieira at midnight on December 20, 1999. Ho is currently serving his second term of office.

The legislative organ of the territory is the Legislative Assembly, a 29-member body comprising 12 directly elected members, ten indirectly elected members representing functional constituencies and seven members appointed by the chief executive.Any permanent residents at or over 18 years of age are eligible to vote in direct elections. For indirect election, it is only limited to organisations registered as "corporate voters" and a 300-member election committee drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organisations, and central governmental bodies. The basic and original framework of the legal system of Macau, based largely on Portuguese law or Portuguese civil law system, is preserved after 1999. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the chief executive. Foreign judges may serve on the courts. Macau has a three-tier court system: the Court of the First Instance, the Court of the Second Instance and the Court of Final Appeal.

People Population: 460,823 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.7% (male 35,107/female 32,756)
15-64 years: 77.1% (male 169,317/female 186,069)
65 years and over: 8.2% (male 16,053/female 21,521) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 37 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 37.5 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.83% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 8.73 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 4.72 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 4.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 82.35 years
male: 79.52 years
female: 85.33 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.05 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Chinese
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups: Chinese 95.7%, Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) 1%, other 3.3% (2001 census)
Religions: Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)
Languages: Cantonese 87.9%, Hokkien 4.4%, Mandarin 1.6%, other Chinese dialects 3.1%, other 3% (2001 census)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.3%
male: 95.3%
female: 87.8% (2001 census)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Macau Special Administrative Region
conventional short form: Macau
local long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese); Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (Portuguese)
local short form: Aomen (Chinese); Macau (Portuguese)
Dependency status: special administrative region of China
Government type: limited democracy
Administrative divisions: none (special administrative region of China)
Independence: none (special administrative region of China)
National holiday: National Day (Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949); note - 20 December 1999 is celebrated as Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Constitution: Basic Law, approved on 31 March 1993 by China's National People's Congress, is Macau's "mini-constitution"
Legal system: based on Portuguese civil law system
Suffrage: direct election 18 years of age for some non-executive positions, universal for permanent residents living in Macau for the past seven years; indirect election limited to organizations registered as "corporate voters" (257 are currently registered) and a 300-member Election Committee drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, and central government bodies
Executive branch: chief of state: President of China HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Chief Executive Edmund HO Hau-wah (since 20 December 1999)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of one government secretary, three legislators, four businessmen, one pro-Beijing unionist, and one pro-Beijing educator
elections: chief executive chosen by a 300-member Election Committee for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 29 August 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Edmund HO Hau-wah reelected received 296 votes; three members submitted blank ballots; one member was absent
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly (29 seats; 12 members elected by popular vote, 10 by indirect vote, and 7 appointed by the chief executive; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 September 2005 (next in September 2009)
election results: percent of vote - New Democratic Macau Association 18.8%, Macau United Citizens' Association 16.6%, Union for Development 13.3%, Union for Promoting Progress 9.6%, Macau Development Alliance 9.3%, others 32.4%; seats by political group - New Democratic Macau Association 2, Macau United Citizens' Association 2, Union for Development 2, Union for Promoting Progress 2, Macau Development Alliance 1, others 3; 10 seats filled by professional and business groups; seven members appointed by chief executive
Judicial branch: Court of Final Appeal in Macau Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders: Civil Service Union [Jose Maria Pereira COUTINHO]; Development Union [KWAN Tsui-hang]; Macau Development Alliance [Angela LEONG On-kei]; Macau United Citizens' Association [CHAN Meng-kam]; New Democratic Macau Association [Antonio NG Kuok-cheong]; United Forces
note: there is no political party ordinance, so there are no registered political parties; politically active groups register as societies or companies
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (special administrative region of China)
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US has no offices in Macau; US Consulate General in Hong Kong is accredited to Macau
Flag description: light green with a lotus flower above a stylized bridge and water in white, beneath an arc of five gold, five-pointed stars: one large in center of arc and four smaller
Culture

The mixing of the Chinese and Portuguese cultures and religious traditions for more than four centuries has left Macau with an inimitable collection of holidays, festivals and events. The biggest event of the year is the Macau Grand Prix in November,[88] when the main streets in Macau Peninsula are converted to a racetrack bearing similarities with the Monaco Grand Prix. Other annual events include Macau Arts festival in March,[89] the International Fireworks Display Contest in September,[90] the International Music festival in October and/or November, and the Macau International Marathon in December.

The Lunar Chinese New Year is the most important traditional festival and celebration normally takes place in late January or early February.[93][37] The Pou Tai Un Temple in Taipa is the place for the Feast of Tou Tei, the Earth god, in February. The Procession of the Passion of Our Lord is a well-known Catholic rite and journey, which travels from Igreja de Santo Agostinho to Igreja da Sé Catedral‎, also taking place in February.[37] A-Ma Temple, which honours the Goddess Matsu, is in full swing in April with many congratulant worshippers during the A-Ma festival. To look on dancing dragons at the Feast of the Drunken Dragon and twinkling-clean Buddhas at the Feast of Bathing of Lord Buddha in May is common. In Coloane Village, the Taoist god Tam Kong is also honoured on the same day.[37] Dragon Boat festival is brought into play on Nam Van Lake in June and Hungry Ghosts' festival, in late August and/or early September every year. All events and festivities of the year end with Winter Solstice in December.

Local cooking in Macau consists of a blend of Cantonese and Portuguese cuisines.[94] Many unique dishes resulted from the spice blends that the wives of Portuguese sailors used in an attempt to replicate European dishes. Its ingredients and seasonings include those from Europe, South America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as local Chinese ingredients. Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with various spices and flavours including turmeric, coconut milk, cinnamon and bacalhau, giving special aromas and tastes. Famous dishes include Galinha à Portuguesa, Galinha à Africana (African chicken), Bacalhau, Macanese Chili Shrimps and stir-fry curry crab. Pork chop bun, ginger milk and Portuguese-style egg tart are also very popular in Macau.

Macau preserves many historical properties in the urban area. The Historic Centre of Macau, which includes some twenty-five historic monuments and public squares, was officially listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 15, 2005 during the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Durban, South Africa.

Economy Economy - overview: Macau's economy has enjoyed strong growth in recent years on the back of its expanding tourism and gaming sectors. Since opening up its locally-controlled casino industry to foreign competition in 2001, the territory has attracted 10s of billions of dollars in foreign investment that have helped transform it into the world's largest gaming center. In 2006, Macau's gaming revenue surpassed that of the Las Vegas strip, and gaming-related taxes accounted for 75% of total government revenue. The expanding casino sector, and China's decision beginning in 2002 to relax travel restrictions, have reenergized Macau's tourism industry, which saw total visitors grow to 27 million in 2007, up 62% in three years. Macau's strong economic growth has put pressure its labor market prompting businesses to look abroad to meet their staffing needs. The resulting influx of non-resident workers, who totaled one-fifth of the workforce in 2006, has fueled tensions among some segments of the population. Macau's traditional manufacturing industry has been in a slow decline. In 2006, exports of textiles and garments generated only $1.8 billion compared to $6.9 billion in gross gaming receipts. Macau's textile industry will continue to move to the mainland because of the termination in 2005 of the Multi-Fiber Agreement, which provided a near guarantee of export markets, leaving the territory more dependent on gambling and trade-related services to generate growth. However, the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Macau and mainland China that came into effect on 1 January 2004 offers many Macau-made products tariff-free access to the mainland. Macau's currency, the Pataca, is closely tied to the Hong Kong dollar, which is also freely accepted in the territory.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $12.5 billion (2006)
GDP (official exchange rate): $14.3 billion (2006)
GDP - real growth rate: 16.6% (2006)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $28,400 (2006)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 3.9%
services: 96% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 275,000 (2006)
Labor force - by occupation: manufacturing 11.1%, construction 11.7%, transport and communications 6.3%, wholesale and retail trade 13.7%, restaurants and hotels 11.3%, gambling 19.8%, public sector 7.7%, financial services 2.6%, other services and agriculture 15.7% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3.1% (2006)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.2% (2006)
Budget: revenues: $4.6 billion
expenditures: $3.4 billion (2006)
Agriculture - products: only 2% of land area is cultivated, mainly by vegetable growers; fishing, mostly for crustaceans, is important; some of the catch is exported to Hong Kong
Industries: tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, footwear, toys
Industrial production growth rate: 3.8% (2006)
Electricity - production: 1.67 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 2.37 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports: 964.4 million kWh (2006)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption: 13,920 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 21 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports: 13,870 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2008)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2006)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Exports: $2.557 billion f.o.b.; note - includes reexports (2006)
Exports - commodities: clothing, textiles, footwear, toys, electronics, machinery and parts
Exports - partners: US 44.1%, China 14.8%, Hong Kong 11.3%, Germany 7.3%, UK 4.1% (2006)
Imports: $4.559 billion c.i.f. (2006)
Imports - commodities: raw materials and semi-manufactured goods, consumer goods (foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco), capital goods, mineral fuels and oils
Imports - partners: China 45.2%, Hong Kong 10.2%, Japan 8.4%, US 5.5%, Singapore 4.1%, France 4% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $13.7 million (2004)
Debt - external: $0 (2006)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $6.5 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $1.1 billion (2006)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $413.1 million (2004)
Currency (code): pataca (MOP)
Currency code: MOP
Exchange rates: patacas per US dollar - 8.011 (2007), 8.0015 (2006), 8.011 (2005), 8.022 (2004), 8.021 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 178,013 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 794,323 (2007)
Telephone system: general assessment: fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services
domestic: termination of monopoly over mobile-cellular telephone services in 2001 spurred sharp increase in subscriptions with mobile-cellular teledensity approaching 140 per 100 persons in 2006; fixed-line teledensity about 40 per 100 persons
international: country code - 853; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; HF radiotelephone communication facility; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 160,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 1 (2006)
Televisions: 49,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .mo
Internet hosts: 232 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 300,000 (2007)
Transportation Airports: 1 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Heliports: 1 (2007)
Roadways: total: 384 km
paved: 384 km (2006)
Ports and terminals: Macau
Military Military branches: no regular military forces
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 112,744 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 91,299 (2005 est.)
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of China
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: none
Trafficking in persons: current situation: Macau is a transit and destination territory for women trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; most females in Macau's sizeable sex industry come from the interior regions of China or Mongolia, though a significant number also come from Russia, Eastern Europe, Thailand, and Vietnam; the majority of women in Macau's prostitution trade appear to have entered Macau and the sex trade voluntarily, though there is evidence that some are deceived or coerced into sexual servitude, often through the use of debt bondage; organized criminal syndicates are reportedly involved in bringing women to Macau, and fear of reprisals from these groups may prevent some women from seeking help
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Macau is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to show evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking since 2004
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for drugs going into mainland China; consumer of opiates and amphetamines