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Macau, also spelled Macao, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. 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.

Macau Flag

Hong Kong Flag

The territory's economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism, but also includes manufacturing.

Macau Emblem

Macau Emblem

Macau is a former Portuguese colony, and is both the first and last European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and subsequently administered the region until the handover on 20 December 1999. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Macau stipulate that Macau operates with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2049, fifty years after the transfer. Macau was first lent by the Chinese empire as a trading port in the 16th century, and had to administer the city under Chinese authority and sovereignty. In 1887, Macau became a colony of the Portuguese empire and its sovereignty transferred to the Portuguese.

Under the policy of "one country, two systems", the PRC's Central People's Government is responsible for the territory's defense and foreign affairs, while Macau maintains its own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy. Macau participates in many international organizations and events that do not require members to possess national sovereignty. According to The World Factbook, Macau has the second highest life expectancy in the world.

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