Where is Macau? Description and photo
Until 1999, the region where Macao is located was under the control of the Portuguese administration, after which the sovereignty was transferred to the Chinese government. Since then, the official name of this region sounds like a special administrative region of the PRC of Macau.
The area has its own coat of arms, anthem and flag. It even has its own Olympic committee, although he has never once put up a team for the games. In addition, Macau, where the casinos are located, is a major tourist center throughout Southeast Asia.
The region where Macao is located was inhabited by the first Chinese inhabitants in the third millennium BC. In the 200s, the territory of this region belonged to the province of Guangdong, during the Chinese Qin dynasty. However, the main stream of settlers from China began much later.
During the Song Dynasty, when most of China was ruled by the Mongols, the Chinese began to move en masse to the southern regions of the country, fleeing from oppression and the unbearable burden imposed by the invaders. It happened in 1277.
For several centuries, Macau remained a small fishing village without any prospects of taking an important place on the map of China. However, in 1535, everything changed radically. Portuguese navigators, who had been entering Chinese ports for several decades, received special rights to trade through the port of Macau. But at the same time they were forbidden to go on land.
But in 1553, merchants received the rights to build warehouses and dwellings on the shore. The first Portuguese buildings formed the square, which today bears the name of Nam Van. The permanent settlement of the Portuguese will be allowed only in 1557 after the Chinese authorities pay forty kilograms of silver. The Chinese will receive this annual tribute until 1863.
Macau and trade
By the beginning of the sixteenth century, the city had grown considerably and, besides the locals and Portuguese traders, imported slaves and settlers from mainland China appeared in it, numbering twenty thousand. At the same time, the number of Portuguese did not exceed two thousand, and there were no more than five thousand slaves.
Year after year, Macao acquired its own government and institutions.In 1576, the Pope established a separate diocese in Macau, and in 1583 Portuguese residents of the colony were allowed to convene their own Senate to resolve various local issues, but sovereignty remained with the Chinese authorities, who strictly monitored the state of affairs in Macao.
Battle of Macau
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the region where Macao is located fell into the sphere of interest of the Dutch. In 1622, the Dutch fleet attacked the Portuguese possessions in the hope of establishing permanent control over one of the busiest ports in Asia. However, the venture ended in defeat, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of defenders were African slaves, commanded by several Portuguese generals.
The next major conflict around the region where the city of Macau is located, occurred after the opium war, when the Chinese suffered a heavy defeat from the British. Taking advantage of the embarrassing situation of the Chinese government, the Portuguese launched an offensive and seized several islands neighboring Macau: Taipus and Coloane.
In 1887, the Portuguese invaders and representatives of the Chinese Qing Dynasty signed a treaty,according to which Macao forever came under the control of Portugal in exchange for help in combating opium smuggling. In addition, the Portuguese have committed themselves not to transfer management rights to third countries. This was especially important, as the Dutch and French were not averse to taking control of the Chinese coast and compete with Britain.
It seemed that the Chinese revolution would be the next major test for the Portuguese authorities, but the Kuomintang government reaffirmed the rights of the Portuguese crown to Macau, changing only some tariffs and duties for trade.
Macau in World War II
The main opponent of the European colonial powers in the Asian theater of military operations was Japan, which actively attacked European and American possessions.
However, the main interest for the Land of the Rising Sun was the Pacific Islands and the Far East. Therefore, occupying Portuguese and Dutch Timor, Japan did not attack Macau, which remained the only neutral port in southern China after the Japanese seized Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
The region and the island where Macao is located was under the scrutiny of all the warring powers, as it was of strategic importance for the economy of all states. The normal functioning of trade in that region could not continue without his work.
However, the neutrality of the port did not last the whole war, and at one point it became known that a tanker with fuel for the Japanese army was to leave the pier of Macau. After this became known, the US military struck the hangar where it was stored.
Transfer of sovereignty
In 1987, a joint Sino-Portuguese declaration was signed, according to which in six years Portugal should cede sovereignty over the city to the authorities of the PRC.
Under the terms of the contract, the usual procedure for self-government, freedom and rights of citizens should have been maintained in Macau. The authorities of the PRC for at least fifty years have no right to interfere in the self-government of the territory. The same procedure has been in effect since 1999 in Hong Kong, and the principle itself has been called “one country, two systems”.
Legislative power is vested in the Assembly of 33 three residents of the district, fourteen of whom are elected by direct vote of citizens, twelve are elected indirectly and seven are appointed by the chairman.Such a scheme should guarantee not only respect for the rights and freedoms of local residents, but also prevent the usurpation of power by the Chinese authorities, who in recent years have been striving for a creeping elimination of the autonomy of the region.
Macau's geography: climate
To answer the question of where the Chinese Macao is located, it suffices to find on the map the south of China and Hong Kong, only sixty kilometers from which Macao is located.
Despite the fact that Macao, where there are numerous Chinese enterprises, is a peninsula, its land border with China is only three hundred meters, and the coastline is barely more than forty kilometers. At the same time, the land area of the city is no more than thirty square kilometers.
However, despite its more than modest size, Macau attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from mainland China every year, who go there not only to play at numerous casinos, but also to enjoy their rest in high-class five-star hotels.
The climate of the region favors the development of recreational tourism. Due to this, numerous resorts are actively developing, focusing on the inexhaustible flow of Chinese tourists.
Despite the fact that the city is in the tropics, experts attribute its climate to subtropical, but at the same time the average annual temperature is about 22 degrees Celsius. Summer is hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 28 degrees Celsius. Thanks to this climate in the region where Macau is located, beach holidays thrive all year round.
But negative factors are also present, as the area is affected by typhoons and tsunamis, occurring in the South Pacific. However, devastating cataclysms occur in the region quite rarely, so Chinese investors are actively investing in Macau casinos, where the major financial center of Southeast Asia and numerous resorts are located.
Chinese business in the region
After the transfer of sovereignty to China, tourism, the export-oriented light industry and the financial sector became the basis of the Macau economy. However, due to the limited territory and lack of resources, Macau largely depends on mainland China in terms of the supply of raw materials, food, water and electricity, although in recent years serious attempts have been made to introduce the renewable energy industry.
After the transfer of power to the People's Republic of China in Macau, public safety indicators increased significantly, and social programs expanded significantly, which did not prevent the economy from starting a rapid growth in the two thousandth. By 2007, annual GDP growth was 31%.
Despite the fact that the area is under the sovereignty of the Republic of China, it has its own monetary unit, known since 1894, which is called Patak.
Also, the region has the status of an independent member of the WTO, and its annual export is estimated at 1 billion 100 million dollars. Mainly exports consist of light industry goods, electronics, equipment and components for it. At the same time, the main foreign trade partner of the region is Hong Kong, which accounts for about 44% of Macao trade.
One of the main advantages of the city is the presence of a free port and a special customs regime with neighboring countries. Thanks to all these preferences, Macau occupies a special place in the PRC economy.
Tourism and Gambling
The absolute basis for the economy of the administrative district is tourism, which, in turn, is based on the entertainment and gambling industry. Casinos were legalized in Macau in the 19th century.Since then, serve as the basis for the well-being of many residents of the city, attracting tourists from all over Asia.
Until 2009, there was a situation of an actual monopoly on the casino market, since most of the market was accounted for by nine gambling organizations. However, after the liberalization of the entertainment sphere, major changes took place: several large Las Vegas investors entered the market, adding variety and competition to the existing situation.
After this, the popularity of recreation in the city among continental Chinese only grew. More often they began to sell vouchers to Macau, where the Asian-wide center of entertainment is located, which Europeans are now striving for. Simultaneously with the liberalization of the gambling market, the central authorities significantly simplified the visa regime, which led to a wave-like growth of tourist traffic from other countries.
Social and political spheres
In order to understand in more detail what the political situation is, it is necessary to clarify where Macao is and in which country. Despite the fact that the region has a certain degree of autonomy, its government and parliament are subjected to serious pressure from the central authorities of the PRC.
The overwhelming majority of the social infrastructure of the islands was built under the Portuguese administration, which closely watched that the local people had conditions no worse than those living in Europe. To this end, hospitals, schools and rehabilitation centers were built in the city, and all residents were guaranteed free secondary education in the 1930s.
In addition, large-scale social housing projects have been implemented twice. Such a massive construction was carried out in the sixties and eighties.
After the transfer of Macao to the Chinese authorities, a social welfare office was established in the city, which still functions today. The initial tasks of the newly created administration were the fight against unemployment and insurance against the collapse of the economy, which was too dependent on the gambling business and subjected to additional risks because of this.
Macau: state of the art
The Chinese government has greatly simplified the mode of travel to the area, including the visa one. Macau, where Chinese business and diverse interests are located,in every way contributes to the development of not only its own economy, but also of the Chinese one, since many foreign investors come to China through the stock exchanges of the region.
As already mentioned, hundreds of thousands of Chinese and international tourists visit Macau every year. In order to serve such an intense passenger traffic, the city has an international airport, which opened its harbor in 1995.
Pretty soon, the airport turned into a big hub of regional significance. Every year through it follow five million people from mainland China to Taiwan and the countries of Southeast Asia. In addition to passenger traffic, the airport allows the transit and shipment of goods, which is very important for Macau.
The modern culture of this region is an amazing mixture of Portuguese, Chinese and Cantonese, which is reflected in the architecture and the kitchen. Even the daily life of the locals indicates a long colonial history, despite the fact that more than 95% of the population are Han Chinese.
The region where the country of Macau is located is very popular with Russian tourists because of the climate and visa requirements.In order to visit Macau, Russian citizens do not even need to apply to the Chinese visa center, since a residence permit not exceeding thirty days is required.