/meuh kow"/, n.

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Introduction Macau
Background: 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. 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. Geography Macau -
Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Geographic coordinates: 22 10 N, 113 33 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 25.4 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 25.4 sq km
Area - comparative: about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 0.34 km border countries: 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% note: "green areas" represent 22.4% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: typhoons Environment - current issues: NA
Geography - note: essentially urban; one causeway and two bridges connect the two islands of Coloane and Taipa to the peninsula on mainland People Macau
Population: 461,833 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.8% (male 52,262; female 48,439) 15-64 years: 70.9% (male 154,942; female 172,647) 65 years and over: 7.3% (male 13,616; female 19,927) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.75% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 12.19 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 3.78 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 9.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/ female total population: 0.92 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 4.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.78 years female: 84.73 years (2002 est.) male: 78.97 years
Total fertility rate: 1.31 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA% HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Chinese adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups: Chinese 95%, Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry), Portuguese, other
Religions: Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)
Languages: Portuguese, Chinese (Cantonese)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 90% male: 93% female: 86% (1981 est.) Government Macau
Country name: conventional long form: Macau Special Administrative Region conventional short form: Macau local short form: Aomen (Chinese); Macau (Portuguese) local long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese); Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (Portuguese)
Dependency status: special administrative region of China
Government type: NA 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 in 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, 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 JIANG Zemin (since 27 March 1993) elections: chief executive chosen by a 200-member selection committee for up to two five-year terms cabinet: Executive Council consists of all five government secretaries, three legislators, and two businessmen head of government: Chief Executive Edmund HO Hau-wah (since 20 December 1999)
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council or LEGCO (27 seats; 10 elected by popular vote, 10 by indirect vote, and 7 appointed by the chief executive; members serve four-year terms) election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats by political bloc - Entertainment Industry 3, pro- democracy 2, pro-Beijing Labor Union 2, pro-Beijing Neighborhood Association 2, pro-business 1 elections: last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held NA 2005)
Judicial branch: The Court of Final Appeal in the Macau Special Administrative Region Political parties and leaders: there are no formal political parties, however, there are civic associations that, for purposes of legislative voting, join together to form political blocs Political pressure groups and Catholic Church [Domingos LAM,
leaders: bishop]; Macau Society of Tourism and Entertainment or STDM [Stanley HO, managing director]; Union for Democracy Development [Antonio NG Kuok-cheong, leader] International organization CCC, ESCAP (associate), IHO, IMO
participation: (associate), Interpol (subbureau), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), WMO, WToO (associate), WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: none (special administrative region of China) Diplomatic representation from the the US has no offices in Macau, and
US: US interests are monitored by the US Consulate General in Hong Kong
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 Economy Macau -
Economy - overview: Macau's economy two years after reversion to China remains one of the most open in the world, according to the World Trade Organization. The government collects no duty on imports and sets no restrictions on exports beyond those required by international agreements. The territory's net exports of goods and services account for 35% of GDP, with tourism and apparel exports as the mainstays. The territory therefore has been hit hard by the 2001 downturn in its key US and EU export markets. Tourism remained strong, however, driven by a surge in visitors from mainland China. In response to the expected contraction of the economy in 2002, the government has announced a stimulative income tax cut and public works program that will push the budget into deficit. China already has extended support by easing restrictions on travel to Macau and is proposing a China-Hong Kong-Macau free trade area. China's economic weight is increasingly felt, with the mainland now holding more than 50% of assets in the financial, real estate, and construction sectors. Mainlanders, however, have been excluded from bidding on the gambling industry licenses that Macau is offering to break up the territory's four- decade-old gambling monopoly. Gambling taxes account for up to 60% of revenue, and the government with Beijing's backing intends to revitalize the industry.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $8 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0.5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $17,600 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1% industry: 25% services: 74% (2000 est.) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): -2% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 218,000 (2001) Labor force - by occupation: restaurants and hotels 26%, manufacturing 20%, other services and agriculture 54% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 6.5% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $1.15 billion expenditures: $1.03 billion, including capital expenditures of $166 million (2000 est.)
Industries: tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, footwear, toys Industrial production growth rate: NA% Electricity - production: 1.4 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 1.476 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 1 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 175 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: rice, vegetables
Exports: $2.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: clothing, textiles, cement, electronics, cameras
Exports - partners: US 48%, EU 28%, China 10%, Hong Kong 7% (2000)
Imports: $2.3 billion (c.i.f., 2000)
Imports - commodities: clothing, textiles, yarn, minerals, electrical machinery, fuel, livestock
Imports - partners: China 41%, Hong Kong 15%, EU 10%, Taiwan 10%, Japan 6% (2000)
Debt - external: $1.5 billion (1998) Economic aid - recipient: $NA
Currency: pataca (MOP)
Currency code: MOP
Exchange rates: patacas per US dollar - 8.033 (January 2002), 8.034 (2001), 8.026 (2000), 7.992 (1999), 7.979 (1998), 7.975 (1997); note - linked to the Hong Kong dollar at the rate of 1.03 patacas per Hong Kong dollar
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Macau Telephones - main lines in use: 176,902 (November 2001) Telephones - mobile cellular: 158,251 (November 2001)
Telephone system: general assessment: fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services domestic: NA international: HF radiotelephone communication facility; access to international communications carriers provided via Hong Kong and China; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 160,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 0 (receives Hong Kong broadcasts) (1997)
Televisions: 49,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .mo Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 60,000 (2001) Transportation Macau Railways: 0 km Highways: total: 50 km paved: 50 km unpaved: 0 km (2001) Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: Macau
Merchant marine: none (2002 est.) Airports: 1 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1 over 3,047 m: 1 (2001) Military Macau
Military branches: no regular indigenous military forces; responsibility for defense reverted to China on 20 December 1999; there is a local police force Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 128,005 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 70,508 (2002 est.)
Military - note: responsibility for defense reverted to China on 20 December 1999 Transnational Issues Macau Disputes - international: none

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or Macao Chinese Aomen

Special administrative region (pop., 2002 est.: 438,000), southern China.

It lies on the South China Sea coast and consists of a small peninsula, which projects from Guangdong province, and two small islands, about 40 mi (64 km) west of Hong Kong. It occupies a total land area of 8.3 sq mi (21.6 sq km). Macao city is the administrative centre. Portuguese traders first arrived in 1513, and it soon became the chief market centre for the trade between China and Japan. It was declared a Portuguese colony in 1849 and an overseas territory in 1951. In 1999 Portugal returned it to Chinese rule. Tourism and gambling are the mainstays of its economy.

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▪ administrative region, China
also spelled  Macao , Chinese (Pinyin romanization)  Aomen  or (Wade-Giles romanization)  Ao-men  
 special administrative region (Pinyin tebie xingzhengqu; Wade-Giles t'e-pieh hsing-cheng-ch'ü) of China, on the country's southern coast. Macau is located on the western side of the Pearl River (Chu Chiang) estuary (at the head of which is the port of Canton) and stands about 40 miles (64 km) opposite the special administrative region of Hong Kong, which is on the eastern side of the estuary. Macau comprises a small, narrow peninsula projecting from the mainland sheng (province) of Kwangtung and includes the islands of Taipa and Coloane. Extending up a hillside and overlooking La-Pa Island is the city of Macau, which occupies almost the entire peninsula. The name is derived from the Chinese A-ma-gao, or “Bay of A-ma,” for A-ma, the patron goddess of sailors.

      Macau Peninsula connects to Taipa by bridge, and Taipa and Coloane are linked by a causeway, which traverses the Duck Channel, a distributary of the Hsi River. Both the peninsula and the islands consist of small granite hills surrounded by limited areas of flatland, which is used for agriculture. The natural vegetation was evergreen tropical forest before the hills were stripped for firewood and construction. No part of Macau reaches any great elevation; the highest point, 571 feet (174 metres), is at Coloane Alto on Coloane. There are no permanent rivers, and water is either collected during rains or imported from the mainland.

      Macau lies just within the tropics. Four-fifths of its total annual rainfall of 40–100 inches (1,020–2,540 mm) falls within the summer rainy season (April–September), when the southwest monsoon blows. Summer temperatures reach 84 °F (29 °C) and fall to 59 °F (15 °C) in winter. Besides being rainy, the summer months are also hot, humid, and unpleasant. Winters, on the other hand, can be delightful.

      Nearly all of the population, of which four-fifths lives in the city of Macau, is ethnic Chinese; there is a Portuguese minority. Of the Chinese Macanese, the vast majority are Cantonese speakers, and a few speak Hakka. In 1992 Chinese (Cantonese) joined Portuguese as an official language; English is also commonly spoken. The Chinese in Macau are primarily Buddhist, while others adhere to Daoism and Confucianism; virtually the entire Portuguese population is Roman Catholic.

      Unemployment in Macau is relatively low. The service sector employs about one-third of the total labour force, and there are few skilled labourers. There also are few natural resources, an exception being fish in the Pearl River estuary, which satisfy local needs. Agriculture is minimal; rice and vegetables are the main crops, and some cattle, buffalo, pigs, and poultry are raised. Macau is, however, a free port, and trade is vital. The mainland is of major importance as a supplier of food and inexpensive consumer goods. Roughly half of imports are raw materials for manufacturing purposes, and imported petroleum provides most of the power for electricity. Textiles and garments are the primary exports, but Macau also exports fireworks, toys, Chinese wines, incense sticks, camphorwood chests, artificial flowers, and electronics. Nearly half of all its goods are exported to the United States and about one-third to countries of the European Union. Macau also has long had a reputation for gold smuggling. In 1991 it became a member of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, now the World Trade Organization.

      In 1989 the Monetary and Foreign Exchange Authority of Macau replaced the Instituto Emissor de Macau as regulator of the currency, the Macau pataca, which is pegged to the Hong Kong dollar. Commercial and foreign banks, as well as banks of issue and a banking association, constitute Macau's banking and financial system. Since the mid-1990s the government has made efforts to diversify the economy away from its heavy reliance on tourism, by attracting foreign investors.

      Tourism, which with gambling contributes more than two-fifths of Macau's gross domestic product, is an extremely important factor in the economy, and the region, in effect, serves as the playground of nearby Hong Kong. High-speed hydrofoils, as well as some traditional but slower river ferries, carry tourists from Hong Kong to Macau's numerous gambling casinos, bars, hotels, and other attractions. Internal transport is good, and there are local ferries between the peninsula and the islands. Following the December 1999 transfer of administrative status from Portugal to China, Macau still remained a free and open port. An international airport became operational in Macau in 1995.

Government and society
      Before it became a special administrative region of China in 1999, Macau followed the colonial constitution promulgated in 1976; it was administered by a governor, who in agreement with the Legislative Assembly was appointed by the Portuguese president. With the transfer of sovereignty over the territory to China, the Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region, which outlined a policy of “one country, two systems,” went into effect. For a period of 50 years, Macau will thus retain its capitalist economy and some political autonomy, but foreign policy and defense matters will remain under Chinese administration.

      According to the Basic Law, the chief executive, who serves a five-year term, holds executive authority but is under the jurisdiction of the central government in Beijing (Peking). An election committee of 300 members, who serve five-year terms, selects the chief executive. The chief executive also appoints an executive council, which consists of about a dozen members, to assist in policy making. The legislature is a single-chamber Legislative Council, headed by an elected president and vice president; the council has no more than 30 members, who after a shorter first term serve subsequent four-year terms.

      Law is based on the Portuguese system. The judicial system was completely administered from Portugal until 1993, when a high court of justice was established in Macau. A new penal code was authorized in 1996 in response to a rise in crime. The Basic Law states that the judicial system remains intact with the transfer of sovereignty and that all judges are appointed by the chief executive. The highest court is the Court of Final Appeal, headed by a chief justice. There are also lower primary courts, intermediate courts, and administrative courts. Macau has a small security force, but defense is the responsibility of the central government in Beijing.

      Five years of primary education are officially compulsory, and education is free for children from age 6 to 14. Most receive instruction in Chinese (Cantonese), while the remainder are taught in either English or Portuguese. The University of Macau, formerly the University of East Asia, opened in the early 1990s. About three-fifths of the population is literate.

      There are medical centres and hospitals in Macau, and traditional Chinese medicine is also practiced. The elderly receive medications free of charge. The average life expectancy is about 80 years, and the birth and infant mortality rates are both low. The government has constructed low-income housing units, and the private sector has introduced social housing with controlled prices.

Cultural life
      Chinese culture predominates, overlaid by a veneer of Portuguese architecture (notably churches and cathedrals) and customs. Chinese temples and shrines coexist with restored villas from the colonial period. Barrier Gate, which links Macau Peninsula to the mainland, is a popular spot for tourists.

      Named for the Portuguese poet and writer of the epic Os Lusíadas, the Luís de Camões Museum (now part of the Macau Museum) houses Chinese pottery, paintings, and artifacts and is surrounded by fragrant gardens. As is the case in Hong Kong, Cantonese pop (“canto-pop”) is a popular form of music. Spectator sports include both dog and horse racing. The Macau Grand Prix also attracts numerous international competitors and fans of motor racing. Football (soccer), track and field, volleyball, and roller hockey are popular team and individual sports. In the 1990s Macau hosted several Roller Hockey World Championships.

      Television and radio broadcasts come from Hong Kong, and local radio stations in Macau broadcast programs in Portuguese. A state-run television station broadcasts in Portuguese and English. Several Cantonese- and Portuguese-language newspapers are circulated, but a law enacted in 1990 restricts freedom of the press.

      The first Portuguese ship anchored in the Pearl River estuary in 1513, and further Portuguese visits followed regularly. Trade with China commenced in 1553. Four years later Portuguese paying tribute to China settled in Macau, which became the official and principal entrepôt for international trade with China and Japan and an intermediary port for ships traveling from Lisbon to Nagasaki; China, nonetheless, still refused to recognize Portuguese sovereignty. The first governor was appointed in the 17th century, but the Portuguese remained largely under the control of the Chinese. Missionaries carried over on Portuguese ships transformed Macau into an East Asian centre of Christianity. Even though China's trade with the outside world was gradually centralized in Canton toward the end of the 18th century, merchants were allowed into Canton only during the trading season—from November to May—and the international merchant community established itself at Macau. By the mid-19th century the British colony of Hong Kong had surpassed Macau in trade, and within a few years the merchants had largely deserted the Portuguese possession, which never again was a major entrepôt.

      In the 1930s and '40s Macau, declared a neutral territory during the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, became a refuge for both Chinese and Europeans. The Chinese population in the territory continued to grow when the communist government assumed power in China in 1949. In 1951 Portugal officially made Macau an overseas province. Following a military coup in Portugal in 1974, the government allotted more administrative autonomy and economic independence to the territory. The constitution promulgated in 1976 established the Legislative Assembly, which was dominated by the minority Portuguese. Until diplomatic relations were solidified between Portugal and the communist government in China in 1979, discussions on transferring Macau to Chinese control were fruitless.

      In March 1984 the Portuguese governor dissolved the assembly in response to opposition within the government to extend the right to vote to the Chinese majority. A few months later new elections, which included Chinese suffrage, finally brought a significant number of Chinese deputies into the government. In April 1987 Portugal and China reached an agreement to return Macau to Chinese rule in 1999, using the Hong Kong Joint Declaration between Britain and China as a model. They agreed to provisions under the Basic Law that would ensure the autonomy of Macau for 50 years after the start of Chinese rule. These included Macau's right to elect local leaders, the right of its residents to travel freely, and the right to maintain its way of life, both economically and socially. Defense and foreign policy matters were to be administered by China, and those living in Macau without Portuguese passports would become Chinese citizens. Elections continued to turn out record numbers of voters and a Chinese majority legislature. On December 20, 1999, Macau became a special administrative region under Chinese sovereignty, as Hong Kong had in 1997.

Additional Reading

General works on Macau include R.D. Cremer (ed.), Macau: City of Commerce and Culture, 2nd ed. (1991); and Jonathan Porter, Macau, the Imaginary City: Culture and Society, 1557 to the Present (1996, reissued 1999). Economic issues in Macau are discussed in Ieong Wan Chong (Yün-chung Yang) and Ricardo Chi Sen Siu, Macau: A Model of Mini-Economy (1997); and R.D. Cremer (ed.), Industrial Economy of Macau in the 1990s (1990). Lo Shiu Hing, Political Development in Macau (1995), offers perspectives on politics in Macau.

A general history of Macau is provided by Geoffrey C. Gunn, Encountering Macau: A Portuguese City-State on the Periphery of China, 1557–1999 (1996). Historical interpretations of Macau prior to its establishment as a special administrative region are provided by Austin Coates, Macao and the British, 1637–1842: Prelude to Hong Kong (1988); and Steve Shipp, Macau, China: A Political History of the Portuguese Colony's Transition to Chinese Rule (1997). Christina Miu Bing Cheng, Macau: A Cultural Janus (1999), addresses the cultural and social history of Macau.

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Universalium. 2010.

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