33 Facts About Macau


Formerly a Portuguese colony, the territory of Portuguese Macau was first leased to Portugal as a trading post by the Ming dynasty in 1557.

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Macau is a special administrative region of China, which maintains separate governing and economic systems from those of mainland China under the principle of "one country, two systems".

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Originally a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, Macau, often referred to as the "Las Vegas of the East", has become a major resort city and a top destination for gambling tourism, with a gambling industry seven times larger than that of Las Vegas.

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Macau Peninsula had many names in Chinese, including Jing'ao, Haojing, and Haojing'ao.

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Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century.

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau was created in 1576, and by 1583, the Senate had been established to handle municipal affairs for the growing settlement.

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Macau was at the peak of its prosperity as a major entrepot during the late 16th century, providing a crucial connection in exporting Chinese silk to Japan during the Nanban trade period.

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Macau entered a period of decline in the 1640s following a series of catastrophic events for the burgeoning colony: Portuguese access to trade routes was irreparably severed when Japan halted trade in 1639, Portugal revolted against Spain in 1640, and Malacca fell to the Dutch in 1641.

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Portugal was able to capitalise on China's postwar weakness and assert its sovereignty; the Governor of Macau began refusing to pay China annual land rent for the colony in the 1840s, and annexed Taipa and Coloane, in 1851 and 1864 respectively.

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Portugal occupied nearby Lapa and Montanha, but these would be returned to China by 1887, when perpetual occupation rights over Macau were formalised in the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking.

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The territory largely avoided military action during the war except in 1945, when the United States ordered air raids on Macau after learning that the colonial government was preparing to sell aviation fuel to Japan.

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Macau was transferred to China on 20 December 1999, after 442 years of Portuguese rule.

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Macau is a special administrative region of China, with executive, legislative, and judicial powers devolved from the national government.

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Macau is represented in the National People's Congress by 12 deputies chosen through an electoral college, and 29 delegates in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference appointed by the central government.

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Macau residents are not required to perform military service and the law has no provision for local enlistment, so its defence force is composed entirely of nonresidents.

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State Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handle diplomatic matters, but Macau retains the ability to maintain separate economic and cultural relations with foreign nations.

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Macau is not a member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, despite Portuguese being one of its official languages.

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In 2016, Murade Murargy, then executive secretary of CPLP said in an interview that Macau's membership is a complicated question, since like the Galicia region in Spain, it is not an independent country, but only a part of China.

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Macau has tripled its land area in the last century, increasing from 10.

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Macau has a humid subtropical climate, characteristic of southern China.

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Macau has a capitalist service economy largely based on casino gaming and tourism.

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The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, opened in 2018, provides a direct link with the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary.

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None of the Macau hospitals are independently assessed through international healthcare accreditation.

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau maintains an important position in territorial education, managing 27 primary and secondary schools.

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The University of Macau, founded in 1981, is the territory's only public comprehensive university.

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The Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau is the oldest higher institute, specialising in educating future nursing staff for the college's parent hospital.

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In 2015, the New Macau Association submitted a report to UNESCO claiming that the government had failed to protect Macao's cultural heritage against threats by urban development projects.

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In 2016, the Macau government approved an 81-metre-tall construction limit for the residential project, which reportedly goes against the city's regulations on the height of buildings around world heritage site Guia Lighthouse.

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Food in Macau is mainly based on both Cantonese and Portuguese cuisine, drawing influences from Indian and Malay dishes as well, reflecting a unique cultural and culinary blend after centuries of colonial rule.

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Macau represents itself separately from mainland China with its own sports teams in international competitions.

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Macau has six sister cities, listed chronologically by year joined:.

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Additionally, Macau has other cultural agreements with the following cities:.

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Macau is part of the Union of Luso-Afro-Americo-Asiatic Capital Cities from 28 June 1985, establishing brotherly relations with the following cities:.

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