Macau



Macau is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China. (Hong Kong is the other.) Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong-Kong which is to the east, bordering Guangdong province to the north and facing the South China Sea to the east and south.

In the 16th Century, China gave Portugal the right to settle in Macau in exchange for clearing the area of pirates under strict Chinese administration. Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East.

It became Portuguese colony effectively after the treaty signed by Qing and Portuguese Government in 1887. It was also the last, when pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Portugal in 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 20 December 1999, ending over 400 years of Portuguese administration.

In recent years, Macau's economy has bloomed rapidly due to the opening of the gambling licenses. Thousands of tourists are in Macau each day, mainly from mainland China and neighbouring regions. The standard of living in Macau has as a result grown significantly, and in many cases, on par with some European countries. The tourist industry has also diversified - instead of casinos, Macau is also promoting its historic sites, culture and cuisine.

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