The Return to Chinese Sovereignty: A Historical Turning Point

  • Victor Zheng
  • Po-san Wan


In Macao’s history, three important years—1557, 1849, and 1999—should not be forgotten. These years signify three historical turning points. The year 1557 marked the beginning of Portuguese settlement in Macao with the consent of the Ming court and the development of Macao as an international maritime trading port. Around three centuries later, in 1849, Macao was seized as a Portuguese colony, and gambling was made legal (in 1847) to generate income for the government as well as to boost the local economy. One and a half centuries later, Macao returned to the motherland as a SAR of China under the framework of “one country, two systems”, involving “a high degree of autonomy” and “Macao people governing Macao”. In other words, Macao’s previous capitalist system and way of life—with a legalized gambling industry as the pillar of the economy—remained unchanged after the return of sovereignty.


Central Government Chinese Government Chinese Communist Party Unemployed Worker Casino Gambling 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Zheng
    • 1
  • Po-san Wan
    • 1
  1. 1.Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific StudiesChinese University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong SAR

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