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Macau

MACAU

Macau Special Administrative Region

Macao

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

LOCATION AND SIZE.

Macau is located in Southeast Asia, approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) southwest of Hong Kong, bordering China. Made up of Macau city and the islands of Taipa and Coloane, Macau has a land area of 21 square kilometers (8.3 square miles). Comparatively, the territory of Macau is 4 times smaller than the Manhattan area of New York City. Macau is joined to the Chinese province of Guangdong by a narrow land corridor. Because of land reclamation efforts, Macau has enlarged its territory by 50 percent since 1912.

POPULATION.

The population of Macau, which is virtually all urban-based, was estimated at 445,594 in July 2000. In 2000, the birth rate stood at 12.54 per 1,000 and this low level is mainly attributed to the effect of urbanization. The death rate stood at 3.64 per 1,000. The estimated population growth rate is 1.83 percent, although unofficial estimates show higher figures due to a high net migration rate, which has been estimated at 9.41 migrants per 1,000. Macau has one of the highest population densities in the world, standing at a level of around 21,218 people per square kilometer (or 54,954 per square mile).

The Macau population represents 2 major ethnic groups, with ethnic Chinese making up almost 95 percent of the population, and Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) and other ethnic groups making up the remaining 5 percent. Around 100,000 inhabitants of Macau hold Portuguese passports that give them the right to settle in Portugal. Approximately 23 percent of the population is below the age of 15, and just 8 percent of the population is older than 65. The current ethnic structure was formed in the 19th century and remains practically unchanged. Buddhism is the primary religion, with 50 percent of the population practicing; Roman Catholicism follows with 15 percent, and the remainder is made up of numerous other faiths.

The government is keen to limit the inflow of illegal immigrants from China. Between 20 and 25 illegal immigrants are deported daily, although foreigners may legally buy residential permits for US$250,000. New chronic diseases such as AIDS are also of great concern to the Macau government, since the country is a busy tourist destination.

OVERVIEW OF ECONOMY

Manufacturing and services are the 2 main pillars of the modern Macau economy. Macau, like Hong Kong and Singapore, has an export-oriented economy, which benefits from growing trade with Western Europe and the United States. Throughout the 20th century, Macau specialized in manufacturing for the export market and servicing international merchants and bankers.

Macau was established as a Portuguese colony in 1557, becoming one of the most important trade distribution centers in the region for the next 3 centuries. Its significance as a trading center rose as the Chinese government maintained a policy of voluntary isolation from the world, allowing international trade only in few assigned ports. Portugal proclaimed Macau a free port (such ports were set up in Asia by the European colonial powers in the 19th century in an effort to promote international trade with a minimum of tariffs and other barriers) in 1849. However, in the 19th century Macau's importance declined with the rise of the British colony in Hong Kong.

The Macau administration has maintained a free-market economy, which in combination with the entrepreneurial skills of the local population and the region's political stability, has contributed to growth of wealth and prosperity. Macau's main exports are textiles, clothing, and services, though it lags behind Hong Kong and Singapore in the proportion of value-added production.

Tourism also plays a significant role in Macau's economy. However, it has been the gambling industry that has contributed so much to the image of Macau as a tourist destination. The gambling industry also has attracted organized criminal syndicates, called "triads," which are involved in gambling, illegal people trafficking, prostitution, and pirated production of various goods, including music and computer CDs. During the 1990s, the government made considerable efforts to restrain and eliminate the power of these criminal groups.

The territory depends heavily on imports of foodstuffs and raw materials from neighboring China because it has no agriculture, due to its very small size. Nonetheless, it maintains a relatively high standard of living due to its sound infrastructure , promotion of economic balance, low inflation , stable currency, and foreign trade surplus .

POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND TAXATION

Throughout the 20th century, Macau remained a remote outpost of the Portuguese colonial empire. The situation changed, however, after the 1974 revolution in Portugal. The new democratic Portuguese government offered Macau back to China, although it took more than a decade before Portugal and China formally agreed on the future of Macau in 1987. This agreement was very similar to the one struck between the British government and China on the future of Hong Kong. On 20 December 1999, the administration of the territory was formally handed over to China. Macau became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a "high degree of autonomy" (self-government) in domestic affairs for a period of 50 years under the principle of "one country, two systems." In 1999, Edmund Ho Hau-Wah became the first governor appointed by China's central government, replacing General de Rocha Vieira, the last Portuguese governor of the territory. According to the Macau's Basic Law (the territory's constitution), the governor has strong policy-making and executive powers, which are limited only by the central government in Beijing and by the Macau legislature. The Legislative Assembly is comprised of 8 directly elected members, 8 indirectly elected members, and 7 members appointed by the governor, totaling 23 members. After establishing its control over Macau, Beijing stationed its army on the territory. However, the military does not play any active role in Macau's economic development.

The Macau authorities traditionally did not attempt to establish control over the territory's economy and, unlike the communist Chinese, they always supported free-market institutions. Nevertheless, since the early 1980s, the Macau government has begun to adopt a more active role in the economic development, encouraging economic variety, promoting large infrastructure projects, and introducing attractive fiscal initiatives for local and foreign investors.

In order to compete with neighboring Hong Kong, Macau established very low direct taxes and abolished currency exchange controls. The property tax ranges up to 15 percent and the wage tax up to 10 percent; this is a very low rate compared to countries in Europe or North America. There are also profit and business taxes on industrial enterprises. Nevertheless, the web of various fiscal initiatives reduces business and other taxes considerably. Imports are free of duty , but they are subject to a consumption tax. The main source of revenue in Macau is taxes on gambling, accounting for 44 percent of total revenue (1999). The pataca, the Macau currency, is pegged to the Hong Kong dollar at the rate of 1.03 patacas per Hong Kong dollar. Unlike South Korea, Thailand, or Indonesia, the pataca remained stable despite the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the Russian foreign debt default in 1998.

INFRASTRUCTURE, POWER, AND COMMUNICATIONS

Macau's infrastructure and well-developed transportation network were established mainly during the colonial era. Visitors can reach Macau by ferry, hydro-foils, or helicopters from Hong Kong, or by cars or buses from China. The territory's international profile was boosted by opening the US$1 billion international airport built on reclaimed land on Taipa island. It is capable of carrying 6 million passengers and 180,000 metric tons of cargo per year. Macau was eclipsed long ago by Hong Kong as the area's leading port, because its surrounding waters were not deep enough for large ocean cargo vessels. Nevertheless, the Macau authorities made considerable efforts to develop its seaport as an alternative to Hong Kong, and Macau's port is currently able to handle container cargo vessels and oil tankers. In 1993, a new ferry terminal capable of carrying 30 million passengers a year was opened.

Macau is served by a network of 50 kilometers (31 miles) of highways, all of them paved. In the 1990s, there was a steep increase in private car ownership, leading to traffic congestion and rising air pollution. In 1999, there was a total of 55,144 registered motor vehicles or 123 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, an increase of almost 30 percent from the 40,600 cars in 1995.

Macau is totally reliant on imports of mineral fuel for domestic consumption, and these imports accounted for almost 6 percent of merchandise imports in 1999. This makes Macau particularly vulnerable to world oil prices. Electrical power plants, which use imported fossil fuel, have a total capacity of 351.6 megawatts (mw). In 1999 electricity net supply stood at 1.53 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) and imports stood at 194.4 million kWh.

Macau had 70,403 new telephone lines installed in 1999, bringing the number of telephones up to 300,000, or 686 telephones per 1,000 people. The number of mobile cellular telephones was growing rapidly, reaching 55,000 in 1998. Macau has only 2 radio stationsboth FMand no television stations, receiving their television signals from Hong Kong. Macau's Internet service was to be opened to applicants in October 2000, having formerly been a monopoly owned by Macau Telecom.

ECONOMIC SECTORS

Macau has the advantage of being an entry point to the huge China market, although its economic development has been held back by its small territory, small population,

Communications
Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Macau 176,837 (2000) 120,957 (2000) AM 0; FM 2; shortwave 0 160,000 0 49,000 1 40,000
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
China 135 M (2000) 65 M (2001) AM 369; FM 259; shortwave 45 417 M 3,240 400 M 3 22 M (2001)
Hong Kong 3.839 M (1999) 3.7 M (1999) AM 7; FM 13; shortwave 0 4.45 M 4 1.84 M 17 1.85 M
aData is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
bData is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
cData is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

and extremely limited natural resources, as well as competition from neighboring Hong Kong. The policy of encouraging private entrepreneurship, giving priority to the development of export-oriented sectors and capital intensive industriescombined with a relatively cheap labor force has contributed to the rise of Macau's prosperity. By 2000, manufacturing (textiles, clothing, toys, and electronics), gambling, and tourism became the largest sectors of Macau's economy.

The 1997 Asian financial crisis contributed to the slowing of economic growth in all sectors of the economy, although Macau managed to avoid an economic decline on the scale of Indonesia or Thailand. The crisis also indicated the need for a further broadening of the economy. Throughout the 1990s, the Macau government struggled to attract value-added manufacturing on the same scale as Hong Kong or Singapore, especially in such important sectors as computer hardware and information technologies (IT). Due to the small size of Macau's market, it lags behind neighboring Hong Kong in providing business and banking services. Macau tries to compete with Hong Kong by offering good infrastructure, cheaper business property rent and labor, and efficient administrative services.

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture and fishing play a negligible role in Macau's economy, accounting for just 1 percent of the GDP and employing less than 1 percent of the workforce. For a long time, Macau has been fully reliant on imports of foodstuffs, mainly from neighboring China. The territory has a very small fishing industry, consisting of a small fishing fleet, which supplies local restaurants and the fish market with fresh catch. There is a small land area under cultivation mainly for fresh vegetables. A very small livestock industry supplies chickens and ducks to the restaurants specializing in traditional Asian cuisine.

INDUSTRY

MANUFACTURING.

Macau has a well-established manufacturing sector that plays an important economic role. Manufacturing contributes 40 percent of the GDP, providing employment to 87,141 people or 31 percent of the workforce (1998). In the 1960s and 1970s, Macau attracted investment and technologies to its manufacturing industry (mainly textiles, clothing, toys, and electronics) through low cost and efficiency, producing a range of exports to Europe and the United States. However, Macau fell behind Hong Kong and Singapore in attracting electronic assembling and computer technologies in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the early 1990s, however, the manufacturing sector's share in the GDP has been steadily declining because of strong competition from China's Special Economic zone of Zhuhai. The manufacturing sector is dominated by small- and medium-size enterprises, which specialize in small-volume and high-quality garments, toys, leather goods, and artificial flowers. It also produces optical goods, electronics, and machinery.

Manufacturing was negatively affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. However, Macau escaped a large-scale recession because the local business community switched quickly between markets and products, and because most of the goods were produced by small private enterprises for export to the United States, Europe, and East Asia. Macau benefited from the existence of U.S.-imposed quotas for goods made in China. Such restrictions can provide an initiative for re-export of goods manufactured in China and labeled as Macau-made products. During recent years, Macau reportedly became heavily involved in producing pirated computer software, CDROMs, and DVDs, which have been distributed in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and even in the United States.

SERVICES

TOURISM.

Tourism is the most important sector of Macau economy, providing direct employment (such as in hotels and restaurants) for 28 percent of the labor force or 78,708 people. Macau has long been a tourist destination for business people and other travelers due to its famous gambling facilities. Macau promotes itself as a "dream come true," offering 24-hour gambling services, a multicultural environment, exotic festivals, and tax-free shopping (most items are 50 percent cheaper than in Hong Kong). According to the national authorities, Macau had a total room capacity of 8,886 in 1999, although most of the hotels report an occupancy rate below 60 percent. Most visitors come for a short stay, arriving from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Japan. The number of tourists visiting the territory rose steadily throughout the 1980s and 1990s, reaching a peak in 1996 with 8.1 million tourists. There was, however, a sharp decline of around 15 percent in 1997 and a further 3 percent in 1998, because of economic turmoil in the region and the outbreak of gangster-style killings and bombings on Macau's streets. In 1999 and 2000, tourism was helped by the economic recovery in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

GAMBLING.

Gambling, together with tourism, is one of the most important sectors of Macau's economy. Macau's casinos and its facilities for horse and greyhound racing have attracted visitors to the region for decades. The government has benefited from the gambling industry by imposing direct taxes, which accounted for 44 percent of its revenue in 1999. However, the dark side of the industry is gambling addiction and criminal activities. In fact, the outbreak of violence in hotels, restaurants, and casinos in 1997 and 1998 was largely attributed to feuds between powerful organized crime syndicates.

FINANCIAL SERVICES.

Macau has a small but vibrant financial services sector, which provided employment for 8 percent of the labor force, or 22,488 people, in 1999. It is built around banking, insurance, and business services. The banking sector was opened for international competition in 1992, and there were 9 local and 13 foreign incorporated banks in 1998. The largest banks are Banco Comercial Portugues and Bank of China. The 1997 Asian financial crisis hurt the financial services sector, although there were no major bank collapses or bankruptcies.

RETAIL.

The retail sector is well-established in Macau, providing inexpensive products to the local population and foreign tourists. Large supermarkets are complemented by thousands of small retail shops where tourists and local consumers can buy a wide variety of duty-free products much cheaper than in Hong Kong. Thousands of small- and medium-size restaurants serve exotic Asian cuisine, attracting gourmands (sophisticated diners) from across the region.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Macau was declared a "free port" in 1849, establishing very few barriers against the import of goods and services and promoting export to the international market. Historically, the United States has remained one of Macau's major trading partners, with exports to the United States reaching US$1 billion dollars in 1999 or 46.9 percent of all exports, consisting mainly of textiles, garments, and manufactured electronics. The European Union is the second-largest trading export market, accounting for US$663 million or 30.2 percent of total exports. China and Hong Kong were also important destinations for Macau exports, accounting for 9.2 percent and 6.8 percent of exports, respectively.

Imports originating from China accounted for US$725 million, or 35.6 percent of its total imports in 1999, so Macau was running a considerable trade deficit with this country. Hong Kong was the second largest source of import accounting for US$368 million or 18.1 percent of total imports. The European Union, Japan, and the United States were other major sources of imports.

Macau's economic vulnerabilities were exposed during the sharp oil price increases in 2000 and 2001. It also faces increasing competition from low-cost, mass-production enterprises in neighboring China and is vulnerable to changes in the U.S. and EU markets.

MONEY

Macau's currency, the pataca, is pegged to the Hong Kong dollar and remains stable. The territory managed to avoid high inflation or economic recession during last

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Macau
Exports Imports
1975 .133 .161
1980 .538 .544
1985 .905 .778
1990 1.694 1.532
1995 1.977 2.021
1998 2.122 1.937
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.
Exchange rates: Macau
patacas (MOP) per US$1
Jan 2001 8.033
2000 8.025
1999 7.990
1998 7.978
1997 7.974
1996 7.966
Note: Linked to the Hong Kong dollar at the rate of 1.03 patacas per Hong Kong dollar.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

2 decades, although the Asian financial crisis of 1997 did hurt its economy. There was an economic slow-down in 1997 and 1998, affecting all sectors and bringing a small rise in inflation. However, in 1999 and 2000 the economy overcame these difficulties and began to grow again. One of the unique features of Macau's economy was that in 1998 it experienced deflation of 4 percent.

Due to the regional economic downturn, the value of the Macau patacas declined slightly against the U.S. dollar from 7.962 in 1996 to 8.1 in January 2000.

POVERTY AND WEALTH

Macau has no official poverty line, so the number of citizens living at that level is difficult to determine. Also, many foreign workers illegally enter Macau looking for jobs, and these individuals cannot be accounted for in official statistics. Their presence in Macau ebbs and flows, as the government fights a continuing battle to deport illegal entrants into the region.

Macau's gap between poor and rich is wide. Macau's per capita GDP was listed in 2000 at US$17,500, placing it 37th in the world. While impressive considering Macau's small size, such wealth does not get equally passed among all strata of society. Gambling, which provides

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Macau 13,600 15,600 16,000 17,500 17,500
United States 28,600 30,200 31,500 33,900 36,200
China 2,800 3,460 3,600 3,800 3,600
Hong Kong 26,000 26,800 25,100 23,100 25,400
Note: Data are estimates.
SOURCE: Handbook of the Nations, 17th,18th, 19th and 20th editions for 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 data; CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online] for 2000 data.

more than 40 percent of Macau's income, benefits the poor very little.

WORKING CONDITIONS

In 1998, Macau's labor force stood at 281,117 people, with an unemployment rate of around 6.9 percent. Macau's economy experienced 2 difficult years in 1997 and 1998, when the unemployment rate was on the rise. However, since the beginning of the economic recovery in 1999 and 2000, there has been some improvement in the labor market. Wages are generally below those in neighboring Hong Kong, but much higher than in China, although there is no regulation of minimum wages or unemployment compensations.

The Macau government encourages women to work, and women made up around 40 percent of the workforce in 1999. In 1984 child labor was banned in Macau, but the law has never been strongly enforced.

Trade unions are allowed in Macau, within the framework of its labor law and other regulations. Labor actions, such as strikes, slow downs, and other protests, are very rare in Macau.

COUNTRY HISTORY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

1513. First Portuguese ship anchors in the Pearl River estuary.

1557. Portuguese establish a trading post on the islands.

1849. Portugal proclaims Macau a free port.

1949. Communist party comes to power in China.

1951. Portugal officially makes Macau an overseas province.

1974. A military coup takes place in Portugal. The new democratic Portuguese government offers to return Macau to China.

1979. Portugal and China establish diplomatic relations.

1987. Portugal and China reach a formal agreement on future status of Macau.

1989. People demonstrate in Macau in support of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing.

1989. Chinese language is made an official language along with Portuguese.

1992. A new banking ordinance is introduced, opening the banking sector for international competition.

1997. Outbreak of contract killings and bombings indicate the beginning of the war between organized criminal groups.

1999. Macau officially returns to Chinese jurisdiction.

FUTURE TRENDS

Macau has experienced 2 decades of economic growth, benefiting from the rise of international trade and the dismantling of barriers to free movement of goods and services in the global market. This has elevated standards of living and brought prosperity to Macau's people. However, globalization also made the territory's economy vulnerable to downturns in the international market and to increasing competition from other Asian economies. Still, Macau has been able to find its economic niche in services and manufacturing.

On the eve of the 21st century, the territory was finally returned to Chinese sovereignty, but was given a high degree of economic autonomy. In the longer term, Macau will depend on economic and political developments in China and Hong Kong. Future economic development depends fully on the capability of the government to maintain the country's economic position and to promote economic growth based on capital-and skill-intensive technologies.

DEPENDENCIES

Macau has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Report: Macau. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, December 2000.

International Financial Statistics Yearbook, 1999. Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2000.

Macau Economic Services. <http://www.economia.gov.mo>.Accessed February 2001.

Macau Statistics and Census Service. <http://www.dsec.gov.mo>.Accessed February 2001.

Macau Statistics and Census Service, Macau. Yearbook of Statistics. Macau Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China: DSEC, 1995.

Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute. <http://www.ipim.gov.mo/pageen/home.asp>. Accessed February 2001.

Monetary Authority of Macau. <http://www.amcm.gov.mo>.Accessed February 2001.

Porter, Jonathan. Macau, The Imaginary City: Culture and Society, 1557 to the Present. New Perspectives in Asian Studies. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2000.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2000: Macau. <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/mc.html>. Accessed February 2001.

Rafis Abazov

CAPITAL:

Macau.

MONETARY UNIT:

Pataca (MOP). One Macau pataca equals 100 avos. Coins include denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 avos, as well as MOP1 and MOP5. Paper currency comes in denominations of MOP5, 10, 50, 100, and 500.

CHIEF EXPORTS:

Textiles, clothing, toys, electronics, cement, footwear, machinery.

CHIEF IMPORTS:

Raw materials, foodstuffs, capital goods, mineral fuel, consumer goods.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:

US$7.65 billion (1999 est).

BALANCE OF TRADE:

Exports: US$1.7 billion (1999 est.). Imports: US$1.5 billion (1999 est.).

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Macau

Macau

Basic Data
Official Country Name: Macau
Region: East & South Asia
Population: 445,594
Language(s): Portuguese, Chinese (Cantonese)
Literacy Rate: 90%

Many of Macau's earliest schools were put in place by the Portuguese government, which gained control of the East Asian territory from China in 1557. When Hong Kong was established in 1842, Macau's port became less valuable to traders, and as its economic benefit to Portugal declined, the territory was left to its own devices. Control of Macau reverted from Portugal back to China in 1999 based on a 1987 agreement between both governments.

As a result, the educational system began a series of revisions in 1991. Along with increasing teacher training, improving the existing infrastructure, and building new schools, the country also worked on expanding tertiary education and consolidating the fragmented public education system that had developed there up until the early 1990s.

Because no centralized educational system had ever been put in place, which was partly due to the minimal resources committed to Macau by its colonial leaders, churches, social service groups, businesses, and individuals had started opening schools of their own. The result was a highly decentralized system of education predominated by private schools. Depending on who ran the schools, either English, Portuguese, or Chinese was the language of instruction.

Rather than attempt to dismantle these schools in an effort to create a centralized public education system, the Chinese government decided to offer funding to private institutions willing to provide free education to students. Preprimary and primary students attending participating private institutions were able to do so for free starting in 1995. By 1998, free education was offered at 80 percent of private schools. That year, roughly 87 percent of all schools in Macau used Chinese as the language of instruction (13 percent of these schools taught the Portuguese language as part of the standard curriculum), over 8 percent of the schools used English as the language of instruction, and approximately 4 percent used Portuguese.

Education levels in Macau remain fairly low with roughly 25 percent of the population holding a secondary certificate and under 5 percent attending college. The academic year in Macau runs from September to June. Students enter primary school at the age of six. After the successful completion of six years of study, students who choose to attend secondary school have two options. Some students enter a five-year secondary program that grants them entrance to the Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1991 in conjunction with the University of Macau to offer training in technology, social work, hospitality management, commerce, and tourism. Other students follow a six-year program that allows graduates who pass an entrance examination to enroll at the University of Macau, which offers bachelor's and master's degrees in various majors. When the university was formally established in 1991, it replaced the University of East Asia, which had been founded a decade earlier by the Macau government to offer classes to overflow Hong Kong students. Other institutions of higher education include the Inter-University Institute of Macau, run by the Portuguese Catholic University and the Macau diocese, and the International Open University of Asia (Macau), which offers distance education.

Bibliography

Borton, James. Macau's Commitment to Education. The Washington Times, 25 October 1999. Available from http://www.washtimes.com/.

International Association of Universities. Country: Macau. 26 May 2001. Available from http://unesco.org/iau/.

Kwok-Chun, Tang, and Mark Bray. Colonial Models and the Evolution of Education Systems: Centralization and Decentralization in Hong Kong and Macau. Worldbank Group, 2000. Available from http://www1.worldbank.org/.


AnnaMarie L. Sheldon

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Macau

MACAU

MACAU. Macau (Macao), the "City of the Name of God" in China, was the second largest in Portuguese Asia. Founded in the mid-sixteenth century on an isolated peninsula at the western edge of the mouth of the Pearl River, Macau prospered, since such a commercial center was in the mutual interests of both the Portuguese and the Chinese. Macau was the focus of a trade nexus extending throughout the South China Sea to Malacca (Melaka), south to Macassar (now Ujung Pandang, Indonesia), and north to Nagasaki (in Japan). The most famous and lucrative example of these trade routes was Chinese silk traded for Japanese silver. A state-awarded annual monopoly conducted the trade with very high annual profits. Mexican silver also entered this system via Manila in the Spanish Philippines.

Macau was governed by its senate (municipal council). Officials were selected to serve on this board from the local elites. Given the tremendous distance from the Portuguese viceroy in Goa, a state in India controlled by the Portuguese until 1961, the council had a great deal of independence and power.

Macau grew slowly from its origins as a cluster of fishing villages. The Portuguese were always a small percentage of the total population, which was largely Chinese. In 1583, there were a reported 900 Portuguese present in Macau. By 1640, in a population of 26,000, of which 20,000 were Chinese, only 1,200 were Portuguese.

Perhaps the best indicator of Macau's wealth and importance were the unsuccessful efforts by the Dutch to capture the city in the period 16041627. Economics alone did not drive the city, however. It was also a base for Jesuit missions to China and Japan and had a number of impressive churches, monasteries, and convents.

See also Goa ; Portuguese Colonies: The Indian Ocean and Asia .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Source

Menezes, Dom Luis de. "Asia Portuguesa no Tempo do Vice-Rei Conde da Ericeira (17171720)." Correspondencia oficial do Conde da Ericeira, edited by C. R. Boxer. Macau, 1970. A unique collection of letters written by one of the viceroys in Goa, much of which relates to Macau.

Secondary Sources

Boxer, C. R. Fidalgos in the Far East, 15501770. The Hague, 1948. A classic work on the growth and development of Macau, written by the leading authority on the Portuguese Empire.

Gomes, Luís Gonzaga. Bibliografia Macaense. 1973 rpt. Macau, 1987. An extensive bibliography of publications about the city.

Oliveira Marques, António Henrique de, ed. História dos Portugueses no Extremo Oriente. Lisbon, 1998. A comprehensive modern collection of essays on the history of Macau.

Porter, Jonathan. Macau, the Imaginary City: Culture and Society, 1557 to the Present. Boulder, Colo., 2000. A wonderful introduction to the intermediary role played by Macau, connecting China and the West. A good starting point for those interested in Macau.

Souza, George Bryan. The Survival of Empire: Portuguese Trade and Society in China and the South China Sea, 16301754. Cambridge, U.K., 1986. A modern and comprehensive study of Macau's importance in Southeast Asian trade.

Timothy J. Coates

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Macau

Macau

Basic Data

Official Country Name: Macau
Region (Map name): East & South Asia
Population: 445,594
Language(s): Portuguese, Chinese (Cantonese)
Literacy rate: 90%

Macau, a peninsula bordering China and the South China Sea, was colonized by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, becoming the first European settlement in the Far East. In 1987 through an agreement with Portugal and China, Macau became a special administrative region of China. Despite China's socialist system, Macau enjoys a high degree of autonomy. The president of China serves as the chief of state, but the local government is run by a chief executive who presides over a 23-seat, unicameral Legislative Council. The population of Macau is approximately 445,000, and the literacy rate is 90 percent. National languages are Portuguese and Cantonese, but the majority of the population speaks Cantonese. Mainstays of the economy are tourismespecially gambling textiles and fireworks.

Although the press in Macau is private, it is not out-spoken, especially concerning the Chinese capital of Beijing, crime syndicates, and activities that challenge the political and business status quo. The government owns controlling interests in radio and television stations. The largest newspaper is the Chinese-language daily Macao Daily News, which boasts an average circulation of 50,000 and appears online. Other dailies printing in Chinese are Ou Mun lat Pou, Journal Si Man, Jornal Va Kio, Tai Chung, Journal Cheng Pou, and Seng Pou. Only Va Kio is available online. There are five main Chinese-language weeklies. Son Pro and Jornal Si-Si appear on Saturday, Jornal O Puso de Macau and Observato'rio deMacau publish on Friday, and Semanario Recreativo deMacau prints on Wednesday. The two Portuguese-language dailies are Jornal Tribuna de Macau andMacau Hoje. Both print Monday through Saturday only and are available online. Portuguese weeklies include O Clarim and Ponto Final, both of which appear on Friday. Ponto Final is available online.

There are two FM stations in Macau broadcasting to 160,000 radios. There are 49,000 televisions and one television station. There is one Internet service provider.

Bibliography

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Macau." World Fact Book 2001. Available from http://www.cia.gov/.

"Country Profile." Worldinformation.com, 2002. Available from http://www.worldinformation.com/.

"Macau." Freedom House, 2000. Available from http://www.freedomhouse.org/.

Macau Daily News, (1998). Available from http://www.macaodaily.com/.

Jenny B. Davis

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Macau

Macau

Culture Name

Macanese

Alternative Names

Macao, Aomen, Haijing Ao

Orientation

Identification. Macau is a city in southern China's Guangdong province, and was until 20 December 1999 an overseas Portuguese territory, founded in 1557. It is now a special administrative region within the People's Republic of China, which agreed to recognize the city's special social and economic system for a period of fifty years.

Macau's status as an outpost of European settlement and commerce in China and its air of isolation gave it a special historical identity. Its population, while politically dominated by the Portuguese and their descendants, was always marked by an admixture of groups and by a steady influx of Chinese migrants. Since the early nineteenth century the majority of the population was Chinese. Macau was located on the old "silk route" and emerged as a major entrepôt (intermediary) trading center in Southeast Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The name Macau is derived from the Chinese A-ma-gao Bay of A-Ma. A-ma was the name of a Chinese goddess, popular with the Chinese seafarers and fishermen who had a temple on the peninsula when the Portuguese first anchored there in 1513.

As a creation of the Portuguese, Macau represents a peculiar blend of Oriental and Western influences. This has given rise to a unique and hybrid urban culture, which gives the city an air of romance and nostalgia. At present, it is a rich commercial and industrialized city. Macau also has a reputation, dating from the 1920s and 1930s, as a place of smuggling, gambling, prostitution, and crime controlled by Chinese "triads" (crime syndicates). Macau's gambling houses were (and are) famous across Asia and still form a popular (Chinese) tourist destination.

Location and Geography. Macau is located on a small peninsula and lies at the western shore of the great Pearl River Delta, opposite Hong Kong. Together with its two islands, Taipa and Coloane (connected to the peninsula by large bridges), it measures only some 8.5 square miles (22 square kilometers). Before inclusion into China in December 1999, Macau was separated from the mainland by the Barrier Gate (Portas do Cêrco) frontier. The city has good air links, and ferry and hydrofoil service to the neighboring islands, the mainland, and Hong Kong. A large international airport was opened in 1995.

There is no flora and fauna to speak of, as buildings have filled up most of the available space, and most primeval forest was used for construction and industrial purposes. Some pine forest remains on Coloane. In the late twentieth century significant land reclamation projects were carried out around the peninsula, creating space for new housing and industries, thus doubling the surface area of the city. The climate of Macau is subtropical and humid.

Demography. The city's population is about 465,000 (1999), with 95 percent ethnic Chinese. The Portuguese comprise about 3 percent of the population, with the rest including other Europeans, Indians, and various other groups, such as Filipinos. Immigration from China's mainland has always been significant, fueled by the opportunities of Macau's international trade and dynamic urban economy (especially in the twentieth century there was an exponential growth of immigration). At present, population growth is about 1.8 percent annually. Fertility (1.27 children per woman) is low according to Asian standards. Almost 50 percent of the ethnic Chinese population was born outside Macau, but about 90 percent of the Portuguese were born in Macau.

Linguistic Affiliation. Indigenous languages spoken are Chinese-Cantonese (Yue dialect and Min dialects, about 96 percent of the population) and Portuguese (about 4 percent). Beijing-Chinese (Putonghua dialect) is a second language and growing in influence (for example, it is used in education). English is also expanding as a language in commerce and tourism. The old Macanese language (Patuá, or Makista) was a typical Creole language, based on Portuguese but heavily influenced by various Chinese dialects and by Malay. It has now virtually died out.

Symbolism. The coat of arms of Macau shows two angels around a shield with a crown, one holding a cross and one holding a globe. Beneath is the motto; "City of the Name of God, there is none more loyal," which refers to Macau's Catholic identity and bond with the Portuguese motherland. What the status of this coat of arms will be under Chinese rule is unclear.

As unofficial emblems or symbols of the town one might see the casino as the emblem of "modernity" (giving the city its main income), and the lone facade of Saint Paul's Cathedral as an apt symbol of Macau's past. This façade, a typical Portuguese structure, is the only remnant of an impressive Catholic church destroyed by fire in the eighteenth century. It may symbolize the near token presence of Portuguese culture in a now predominantly Chinese city that owes the larger part of its wealth to the Chinese fascination with gambling and to the efforts of Chinese businessmen and laborers.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Although Portuguese sailors first anchored in 1513 and started using the peninsula for provisioning, Macau as a town was founded in 1557. It was a fixed point on the trade route to the Far East.

Macau always self-consciously maintained its bond with Portugal, even in times of war and turbulence. Religious identity played a great part in this. The city was a foothold for the Jesuits in their efforts to spread the gospel in Japan and China, though without much success. Beginning in the sixteenth century, other groups such as British Protestants, Japanese, and Indians also settled in Macau in small numbers.

Macau thus emerged as a Portuguese colonial settlement with a European-Christian identity, but as a result of its allowing Chinese immigration and settlement from early on, acquired a mixed character. Due to its open, commercial character and its weak military position vis-a`-vis China, there was never any exclusivist policy or national identity, though its political adherence was to Portugal.

Macau-Chinese relations were occasionally tense but never violent. Macau's historical status contrasts with that of Hong Kong, which was forced by Britain from China in an unfair treaty and under the threat of violence.

In 1887, Portugal by treaty received full sovereignty over Macau from China. This was reversed exactly one century later by a new treaty, ceding Macau to China.

National Identity. Macau is a peculiar amalgam of Portuguese and Chinese culture. This is evident in its rich and remarkable architecture, economic activities, and demography, as well as its political culture. Imperial, and later communist, China never gave up its claims to Macau as ultimately a part of China, but its relations toward Macau (and the Portuguese-Macanese attitude toward the Chinese) were marked by pragmatism, laissez-faire, and cooperation, a policy that was in tune with Macau's exceptional position as a hub of economic and commercial activity on the frontier of two worlds. The Chinese in Macau never clamored for inclusion into China (indeed, many came to Macau from the mainland as political and economic refugees) but did not protest when it became inevitable. They acquired, however, a distinguishable identity as Macanese-Chinese visa`-vis the rest of China's people, though this will inevitably fade after the handing over of Macau.

Ethnic Relations. Ethnic relations in Macau, though hierarchical and rooted in a colonial relationship, developed into a largely harmonious and relaxed pattern. Major tensions did occur when China interfered in the internal affairs of the city, as happened occasionally in the nineteenth century and in 1966, during the Cultural Revolution, when there were Chinese-inspired pro-communist riots.

Throughout its history, Macau always received people from many places, either forced (slaves from Africa) or voluntary (Indians, Malay, Filipinos). It also was a hospitable place for refugees, as most evident before and during World War II, when the Japanese offensives drove some 160,000 people (mainly Chinese) to the city, and after 1949, when the communists took over in China.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

The old urban architecture of Macau is one of the most attractive features of the city. Macau was built by the Portuguese, but the Mediterranean-European designs were always given an Oriental slant in actual building, and the Chinese made their own contribution in the form of shrines, temples, and Chinese gardens. The combination has charmed almost all visitors to the place; Macau's historical old city, its churches, forts, statues, parks, monuments, and government palaces give the city a romantic character. But this unique architecture is now also under threat, because massive modernization, population growth, and urban renewal have led to the demolishing and crowding out of many old buildings and neighborhoods. Before and after the handover of Macau to China, several statues and landmarks disappeared (some of them were even shipped to Portugal). Macau is one of the most densely built-up urban areas in the world. Environmental pollution is a growing problem.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. The Macanese cuisine is a much-praised mixture of Portuguese and Mediterranean cooking with some Indian and African influence (as people from Portugal's African colonies also came to Macau). Chinese influence was not pervasive. Macanese cuisine is popular among the Chinese population, and also outside Macau's boundaries, such as in Hong Kong.

Basic Economy. Macau is a rich city, with per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of US$17,500. It was built on entrepôt trade, gambling, and port services. These activities are still very important, despite the fact that the city also has developed into a major industrial center. Of growing significance is Macau's role as a center of financial services, both legal and illegal. Its status as a free port, its low taxes, the absence of foreign exchange controls, its flexible corporate laws, and its long experience in commerce and financial dealing make it an ideal place for uncontrolled, often criminal business schemes. Its relaxed system of governance has traditionally condoned this. There is a large "informal" unregistered sector.

Macau's economy has always been strongly dependent on ties with China and especially Hong Kong. Macau imports virtually all its food items (and even its water) from the Chinese mainland. China in turn derives great benefit from Macau, using it as a gateway to the capitalist world through which it imports and launders huge sums of unregistered money. This aspect of Macau's economy makes it a growing concern for global financial institutions and for the United States, which has identified Macau as a major center of money laundering and financial crime. Organized crime groups have a significant, but not clearly recorded, hold on Macau's economy. Corruption and bureaucratic red tape are a problem.

Land Tenure and Property. Most land is private property and owned by large business syndicates and individuals. Land prices are high due to great scarcity. The Chinese were allowed to acquire property in 1793. Since the 1920s there have been ongoing efforts at land reclamation, financed by both the government and private capital.

Commercial Activities. Macau's economy is based on commerce, import-export, tourism, and gambling (the latter accounting for about 25 percent of GDP), and expanding industrial production. Gambling brings in some 55 percent of the city government's revenue. Still, Macau has an aura of a city not only of casinos but also of shady business deals and financial crime. There are strong indications that China uses Macau as a major conduit of money laundering and unrecorded import-export transactions. Other tourist-related activities are horse, dog, and car races (the Grand Prix of Macau).

Major Industries. After the decline of its port, Macau succeeded in quickly reorienting its economy towards industrialization. Prominent industries include textiles, footwear, toys, incense, machinery, enamel, firecrackers, wooden furniture, Chinese wines, and electronic goods. Small and medium-sized businesses play a remarkably large role.

The tourism industry, centered around the twenty four-hour-a-day casinos, is of great importance, as are prostitution and racketeering. Through these activities the city had already become notorious in the late eighteenth century, with an upsurge in the 1920s and 1930s. Tourism declined somewhat in the late twentieth century.

Trade. International trade was the mainstay of Macau as a free port, and has been important until recently. Its first fortunes were made on the Europe-Japan trade route. Macau is a major importer of goods from China (food, textiles, clothing, electronics, and cheap consumer goods). Some of these are reexported.

Division of Labor. The Portuguese were active in the political administration, the higher civil service, and the army and police; the Macanese were mainly in the professions, in trade, and in some businesses; and the Chinese in business, casinos, fishing, crafts, manual labor, and other trade activities.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. Macau is largely a Chinese society, though significantly influenced by the specific urban culture and its Portuguese elite. During colonial times, there was a basic stratification in three groups: Portuguese (a small minority of "pure" Portuguese, often immigrants sent or appointed from Portugal), Macanese (a Creole group, some claiming descent from the original Portuguese-Malay unions), and Chinese (within this group there was a complex substratification). There was a prestige ranking of these groups and a certain amount of ethnic-"racial" prejudice, evident at critical social moments, such as choosing a marriage partner.

Economically speaking, the Portuguese were the original dominant class in Macau, although the Chinese, by virtue of their business success and connections with the mainland, soon came to form a powerful stratum. Following the December 1999 handover, the Portuguese political elite has been receding from the administration and government services. Chinese are becoming more prominent in the leading strata of Macanese society. The Portuguese have seemed to close their ranks, although the Macanese are in a more vulnerable position due to the pull of Chinese culture. Business and financial institutions are largely controlled by a small Chinese elite. In Macau's strongly commercial-capitalist economy there is a definite class structure based on wealth and business interests.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Dress, diet, and leisure activities distinguished the various groups from each other. According to social and community background (Portugese, Chinese and Macanese), people of the city visibly differentiate themselves by their religious behavior, leisure activities, and manner of dress, but wealth and social status have cut across any easy "ethnic" identification. Elite groups tend more to resemble each other, sharing smart western clothing, choice of the better residential areas, and leisure activities like attending horse and greyhound races and clubs, literary-cultural activities, and international traveling. In terms of diet, Portugese and other culinary traditions have to some extent mingled in Macau, but their essentials remained distinct and are still a mark of difference if not "identity" among the various communities.

Political Life

Government. Until December 1999, Macau was ruled by a Portuguese governor, appointed from Lisbon, and assisted by a Legislative Assembly of twenty-three members (citizens and officials). One-third of these were directly elected by the populace, and the rest were either appointed or "chosen" by business interest groups. There was also a ten-member Consultative Council, an advisory body.

Under Chinese rule and the new Basic Law (a temporary constitution, promulgated by the China's National People's Congress in 1993, and instituted in Macau in 1999), there is a chief executive, chosen in a complicated procedure. The Legislative Assembly remained, and was by law accorded sole legislative power. In practice, however, the chief executive has the decisive role. The Basic Law also gave citizens a large number of civic, social, and economic rights. But there was no significant expansion of democratic political rights.

Portuguese law codes still are at the basis of Macau's legal system, and the judiciary is held to be independent. There is a three-tier court system topped by a Supreme Court.

Leadership and Political Officials. The last Portuguese-appointed governor was general Vasco J. Rocha Vieira. In December 1999, Edmundo Ho Hau-Wah (a prominent and well-connected businessman, educated in Canada) assumed the top post of chief executive of Macau. There are no political parties.

Social Problems and Control. There are problems of organized crime, prostitution, trafficking in women, gang wars, and financial crime. Such crimes as assault, rape, and burglary are rare, but kidnappings, stabbings, and homicides frequently occur in the criminal world of the competing triads. The legal environment of Macau is not tight enough to allow the effective combating of organized crimethe traditional attractiveness of the city (and its wealth) is explained by its record of condoning loopholes in economic and financial laws.

Military Activity. Macau was a fortified city, with its own Portuguese army and city forts, that were built in the seventeenth century after a 1622 Dutch naval attack and reinforced after Chinese and British threats to the city. The army was also active against Chinese pirates that infested the Pearl River Delta beginning in the late sixteenth century. In 1975 the military were withdrawn and an internal security force of forty-six hundred men took its place. Since the 1999 handover, a Chinese army garrison of one thousand has been stationed in Macau, but it officially has no role to play in internal security.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

Existing programs in this fieldsupport for orphans, the handicapped, and the aged; refugee care; social workall have their origins in Christian religions institutions and missionary societies. In addition to the Church foundations, the government has also developed social safety-net provisions.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

There are many cultural and nongovernmental organizations in Macau, devoted to charity, public monuments, heritage preservation, and cultural life. Some of these are financed by prominent businessmen.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Women are more and more active in business (forming about 43 percent of the workforce), but are not well-represented in political life. Chinese women in particular are taking their place in public and business life.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Women and men are equal before the law, and in all private and public organizations must receive equal pay for equal work. In recent years, there were no court cases concerning sex discrimination. There are no significant social or cultural barriers to the participation of women in society. Violence against women is not reported much. Among the Chinese and other Asian groups, women were subject to many more restrictions than among the Portuguese and other European groups, but this has changed due to economic developments.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. The three subcommunities of Macau the Portuguese, Macanese, and Chinesehave traditionally intermingled, but as the population grew and the Chinese population became more predominant, intermarriage declined. The Portuguese and Macanese had formal monogamous marriage, while the Chinese also engaged in polygamous unions until the 1940s (depending on the economic situation of the husband). Weddings are important and costly occasions for celebration in both the Portuguese and Chinese communities.

Domestic Unit. Among the Chinese, the extended family, based on lineage connections, remains important; among Portuguese and Macanese, the nuclear family is the common domestic unit. Macau's capitalist economic development contributed to the nuclear family becoming the dominant form of domestic unit among all groups. In recent years, many young people live alone and/or marry late.

Inheritance. Inheritance still follows an adapted form of Portuguese law, but recognition is given to Chinese customary law on succession and family matters. Under Chinese rule, only laws approved by Macau's legislative and legal bodies are accepted, not Portuguese "imported" laws.

Kin Groups. Among the Chinese, lineage membership (with an emphasis on the father's side), and occasionally clan identity, remain important elements in social and ritual life. Lineages and extended kin (with some relatives often remaining in the Chinese area of origin) provided the moral framework of economic activity for the Chinese migrants. In Chinese business careers in Macau, the role of relatives on the mother's side has increased, indicating a development away from patrilineal orientation towards bilateral relationships: appealing to relatives from both father's and mother's as a resource.

Socialization

Infant Care. Children are cared for in the family tradition of their community. In the Chinese community, this means the extended family participates in child rearing.

Child Rearing and Education. Formal schooling is growing in importance as a framework of socialization. The school system is partly run by the government and partly in private hands (also subsidized by the city government). Education levels in Macau are still relatively low. About 25 percent of the population has secondary education, and less than 5 percent go to college. Education is compulsory up to only five years of primary school, though nine years of state education are provided free of charge. Parents show high levels of ambition for their children. There is an increasing demand for schooling, which has led to overcrowding. The overall literacy rate is about 90 percent (slightly less for women). About thirty thousand children (including many Chinese) are educated in Christian schools.

Higher Education. Higher education in Macau is well-developed, with two universities: the University of Macau (before 1991 called the University of East Asia) and the Macau Polytechnic. There are also various nonuniversity institutions, such as the Institute of Tourism Education, the Armed Forces College, and the International Institute of Software Technology.

Etiquette

Chinese culture emphasizes family integrity, lineage solidarity, reserved public behavior toward the powerful, and respect for parents and elder persons (that is, filial piety, or xiao ). These values are also largely maintained in Macau's urban culture. The Portuguese and the Macanese form relatively cohesive subsocieties of Catholics with their distinct values and preferences.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. According to 1996 census figures, a majority of the population (some 60 percent) claimed to have no religion. Buddhism is adhered to by some 17 to 20 percent of the population. There are minorities of Roman Catholics (7 percent), and of followers of Taoism and Confucianism (14 percent). There were also several popular Chinese spirit cults in Macau. Other religions such as Islam and Hinduism are adhered to by tiny minorities. In the late 1990s there also emerged a small but growing group of Falun Gong practitioners (although this is not considered a religion).

Notable in Macau's history is the great degree of tolerance and relaxed coexistence of the various religious communities. This is also reflected in the mixed architecture of the town, showing churches, temples, and other places of worship close to each other. The 1998 Religious Freedom Ordinance, which codified freedom of religion, is still in force after the handover to China.

Religious Practitioners. Macau has a Roman Catholic bishop and Buddhist dignitaries. The other religions do not have notable community leaders. Catholic and Buddhist officials often appear together at public functions in the city. Among the Chinese, many geomancers (i.e., diviners interpreting the [in]auspiciousness of lines and figures on the ground) are found.

Rituals and Holy Places. There are many churches and temples in Macau. The oldest religious structure is probably the Ma Kok Miu temple, dating back to a thirteenth century shrine. The most important churches are the Macau Cathedral, the Saint Joseph Seminary, and the Saint Laurence. Saint Paul's Church, of which only the facade remains, was built in the seventeenth century and was the largest church.

Death and the Afterlife. Attitudes toward death and belief in an afterlife differ according to the various religious doctrines. Many Chinese have domestic shrines for ancestor worship.

Medicine and Health Care

Medicine and health care are well-developed in Macau, with thirty-four hospitals and a doctor density of 1.5 per thousand inhabitants. The health-care system has its origins in Catholic Church institutions. There is a good disease- and epidemic-control system, which is important in a densely populated city with high rates of mobility. Health authorities are on alert for imported diseases brought by Chinese immigrants, such as hepatitis B and tuberculosis.

Secular Celebrations

The Chinese and Christian New Year are major holidays. An important Chinese festivity is the Dragon Boat festival.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. Before the handover, the city government designated Macau as a "city of culture. " It supported various arts foundations, such as the Fundação Macau and the Fundação Oriente. There are also private cultural foundations, such as the Instituto Português de Oriente. Since the mid-1990s, several new museums have opened, including the Chinese Robert Ho Tung Museum, the Luis de Camões Museum, and the Museum of Art. There is also a National Library. The tourist market and local people have created a demand for contemporary art.

Literature. There is a long Portuguese-Macanese literary tradition in the city, which likes to take inspiration from the myth that the famous seventeenth-century Portuguese poet Luis de Camões spent some time in Macau. The most famous writer in the Macau patois was José dos Santos Ferreira (d. 1993). Macau also inspired many local Chinese poets and authors (such as seventeenth-century poet Wu Li, and twentieth-century author Liang Piyun). The local Chinese and Portuguese literary traditions have remained relatively separate. Chinese Macanese literature is as a rule more political in content.

Graphic Arts. The Chinese graphic arts emerged as landscape painting, Chinese calligraphy, and book illustration. Some European painters (such as George Chinnery, d. 1852, and A. Borget, d. 1877) lived in Macau and depicted life and landscapes of Macau in many drawings, watercolors, and paintings. Notable local painters in nineteenth-century Macau were M. Baptista and Guan Qiaochang. Several Chinese painters in Macau show a creative mix of Chinese and European styles. There are also Portuguese-Macanese artists. The contemporary graphic arts scene (among both Portuguese and Chinese artists) is alive and well, supported by cultural foundations.

Performance Arts. In hotels and clubs one finds traditional Portuguese dance performances, fado singers, Chinese dance groups and foreign artists. The theater scene in Macau is relatively unimportant.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

The University of Macau is a notable center for technology studies, ICT, science and social studies. There is also the Inter-University Institute of Macau, which is active in ICT and technology studies. In the sciences, however, Macau stands in the shadow of Hong Kong, which has more institutions and research facilities.

Bibliography

Chaves, Jonathan. Singing of the Source: Nature and God in the Poetry of the Chinese Painter Wu Li, 1993.

Cremer, Rolf D., ed. Macau: City of Commerce and Culture, 2nd ed., 1991.

Batalha, Graciete Nogueira. Lingua de Macau, 1974.

Boxer, Charles R. "Macao as a Religious and Commercial Entrepôt in the sixteenth and seventeenth Centuries." Acta Asiatica, 26: 6490, 1974.

, ed. and trans. Seventeenth Century Macau in Contemporary Documents and Illustrations, 1984.

Gunn, Geoffrey C. Encountering Macau: A Portuguese City-State on the Periphery of China, 15571999, 1996.

Hing, Lo Shiu. Political Development in Macau, 1995.

Miu Bing Cheng, Christina. Macau: a Cultural Janus, 1999.

Porter, Jonathan. Macau: The Imaginary City, 1996.

Roberts, Elfed Vaughan, Sum Ngai Ling, and Peter Bradshaw. Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong and Macau, 1992.

Shipp, Steve. Macau, China: A Political History of the Portuguese Colony's Transition to Chinese Rule, 1997.

Jon G. Abbink

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Macau

Macau: see Macao.

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Macau

Macauallow, avow, Bilbao, Bissau, bough, bow, bow-wow, brow, cacao, chow, ciao, cow, dhow, Dow, endow, Foochow, Frau, Hangzhou, Hough, how, Howe, kowtow, Lao, Liao, Macao, Macau, miaow, Mindanao, mow, now, ow, Palau, plough (US plow), pow, prow, row, scow, Slough, sough, sow, Tao, thou, vow, wow, Yangshao

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Macau

Macau

PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the September 2007 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

Macau Special Administrative Region

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 28.2 square kilometers total, with 8.9 sq. km. on a peninsula connected to China and the southern islands of Taipa (6.5 sq. km.), Coloane (7.6 sq. km.), and Co Tai (5.2 sq. km., reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane) linked by bridge and causeway.

Terrain: Coastline is flat, inland is hilly and rocky.

Climate: Tropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer.

People

Nationality: Noun—Macanese (sing. and pl.).

Population: (1st Quarter 2007) 513,427.

Population growth rate: (3rd quarter 2006) 5.4%. Ethnic groups: Chinese 95.7%, Portuguese 1.7%.

Religions: Buddhist 17%, Roman Catholic 7%, Christian 2%.

Languages: In 1992, the government gave the Chinese (Cantonese) language official status and the same legal force as Portuguese, the official language.

Education: Literacy—91.3%. Work force: Manufacturing—9.0%; construction—11.9%; wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants—23.3%; financial intermediation, real estate, and related business activities—8.4%; public administration, other community, social and personal services, including gaming—27.9%; transport, storage and communications—6.6%.

Government

Type: Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China since December 20, 1999 with its own mini-constitution (the Basic Law).

Government branches: Executive—President of the People's Republic of China (head of state), chief executive (head of government), Executive Council (cabinet). Legislative Legislative Assembly. Judicial—Independent judicial system with a high court (the Court of Final Appeal).

Economy

GDP: at 2002 constant prices (2006) $14.3 billion.

GDP real growth rate: (2006) 16.6%.

Per capita GDP: at 2002 constant prices (1st Quarter 2007) $28,436.

Agriculture: Products—rice and vegetables; most foodstuffs and water are imported.

Industry: Types—tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, toys, footwear, construction, and real estate development.

Trade: (2006) Exports—$2.6 billion f.o.b.: textiles and clothing, manufactured goods (especially toys, footwear and machinery & mechanical appliances). Major markets—U.S. 44.1%, Hong Kong 11.2%, China 14.8%, EU 19.5%. Imports—$4.6 billion: consumer goods, foodstuffs, fuels, and raw materials. Major suppliers—China 45.1%, Hong Kong 10.2%, EU 13.1%, U.S. 5.5%, Taiwan 3.2%, Japan 8.3%.

PEOPLE

Macau's population is 95.7% Chinese, primarily Cantonese and some Hakka, both from nearby Guangdong Province. The remainder are of Portuguese or mixed Chinese-Portuguese ancestry. The official languages are Portuguese and Chinese (Cantonese). English is spoken in tourist areas. Macau has ten higher education institutions, including the University of Macau; 80.7% of the University of Macau's 5,562 students are local and 19.3% from overseas.

HISTORY

Chinese records of Macau date back to the establishment in 1152 of Xiangshan County under which Macau was administered, though it remained unpopulated through most of the next century. Members of the South Sung (Song) Dynasty and some 50,000 followers were the first recorded inhabitants of the area, seeking refuge in Macau from invading Mongols in 1277. They were able to defend their settlements and establish themselves there.

The Hoklo Boat people were the first to show commercial interest in Macau as a trading center for the southern provinces. Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century. Portuguese traders used Macau as a staging port as early as 1516, making it the oldest European settlement in the Far East. In 1557, the Chinese agreed to a Portuguese settlement in Macau but did not recognize Portuguese sovereignty. Although a Portuguese municipal government was established, the sovereignty question remained unresolved.

Initially, the Portuguese developed Macau's port as a trading post for China-Japan trade and as a staging port on the long voyage from Lisbon to Nagasaki. When Chinese officials banned direct trade with Japan in 1547, Macau's Portuguese traders carried goods between the two countries. The first Portuguese governor was appointed to Macau in 1680, but the Chinese continued to assert their authority, collecting land and customs taxes. Portugal continued to pay rent to China until 1849, when the Portuguese abolished the Chinese customs house and declared Macau's “independence,” a year which also saw Chinese retaliation and finally the assassination of Gov. Ferreira do Amaral.

On March 26, 1887, the Manchu government acknowledged the Portuguese right of “perpetual occupation.” The Manchu-Portuguese agreement, known as the Protocol of Lisbon, was signed with the condition that Portugal would never surrender Macau to a third party without China's permission. Macau enjoyed a brief period of economic prosperity during World War II as the only neutral port in South China, after the Japanese occupied Guangzhou (Canton) and Hong Kong. In 1943, Japan created a virtual protectorate over Macau. Japanese domination ended in August 1945.

When the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, they declared the Protocol of Lisbon to be invalid as an “unequal treaty” imposed by foreigners on China. However, Beijing was not ready to settle the treaty question, requesting maintenance of “the status quo” until a more appropriate time. Beijing took a similar position on treaties relating to the Hong Kong territories.

Riots broke out in 1966 when pro-communist Chinese elements and the Macau police clashed. The Portuguese Government reached an agreement with China to end the flow of refugees from China and to prohibit all communist demonstrations. This move ended the conflict, and relations between the government and the leftist organizations have remained peaceful.

The Portuguese tried once in 1966 after the riots in Macau, and again in 1974, the year of a military revolution in Portugal, to return Macau to Chinese sovereignty. China refused to reclaim Macau however, hoping to settle the question of Hong Kong first.

Portugal and China established diplomatic relations in 1979. A year later, Gen. Melo Egidio became the first Governor of Macau to visit China. The visit underscored both parties’ interest in finding a mutually agreeable solution to Macau's status; negotiations began in 1985, a year after the signing of the Sino-U.K. agreement returning Hong Kong to China in 1997. The result was a 1987 agreement returning Macau to Chinese sovereignty as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on December 20, 1999.

GOVERNMENT

The chief executive is appointed by China's central government after selection by an election committee, whose members are nominated by corporate bodies. The chief executive appears before a cabinet, the Executive Council (Exco), of between 7 and 11 members. The latest Exco, appointed on December 15, 2004, has 10 members. The term of office of the chief executive is 5 years, and no individual may serve for more than two consecutive terms. The chief executive has strong policymaking and executive powers similar to those of a president. These powers are, however, limited from above by the central government in Beijing, to whom the chief executive reports directly, and from below (to a more limited extent) by the legislature. Edmund Ho, a community leader and banker, is the first China-appointed chief executive of the Macau SAR, having replaced General de Rocha Viera on December 20, 1999. Ho was re-appointed to a second term on September 20, 2004.

The legislative organ of the territory is the Legislative Assembly, a 29-member body of 12 directly elected members, 10 appointed members representing functional constituencies, and seven members appointed by the chief executive. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for general lawmaking, including taxation, the passing of the budget, and socioeconomic legislation. In the last election, held in September 2005, pro-entertainment industry groups won five of the 10 directly elected seats, pro-democracy groups won two seats, and pro-China parties won four; a former civil servant took the remaining seat. The next election will be held in 2009. The city of Macau and the islands of Taipa and Coloane each had a municipal council until January 1, 2002, when the Civic and Municipal Bureau was formally established to replace the two municipal councils.

The legal system is based largely on Portuguese law. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the chief executive. Foreign judges may serve on the courts. In July 1999 the chief executive appointed a seven-person committee to select judges for the SAR. Twenty-four judges were recommended by the committee and were then appointed by Mr. Ho. Macau has three courts: the Court of the First Instance, the Court of the Second Instance, and the Court of Final Appeal, Macau's highest court. Sam Hou Fai is the President (Chief Justice) of the Court of Final Appeal.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

(Special Admin. Region of the People's Republic of China)

Chief Executive: Edmund HO Hau-wah

Sec. for Admin. & Justice: Florinda Da Rosa Silva CHAN

Sec. for Economics & Finance: Francis TAM Pak-yuen

Sec. for Security: CHEONG Kuoc Va

Sec. for Social Affairs & Culture: Fernando CHUI Sai-on

Sec. for Transportation & Public Works: AO Man Long

Procurator Gen.: HO Chio Meng

Pres., Court of Final Appeal: SAM Hou Fai

Pres., Legislative Council: Susana CHOU

Commissioner, Audit: Fatima Mei-lei CHOI

Commissioner, Independent Commission Against Corruption: CHEONG U

ECONOMY

Macau's economy is based largely on tourism, including gambling, and textile and garment manufacturing. Efforts to diversify have spawned other small industries, such as footwear, and machinery and mechanical appliances. The clothing industry has provided about three-fourths of export earnings, and it is estimated that the gambling industry contributed more than 50% of GDP in 2005. The opening of the gambling sector since 2002 has led to significant new investment in casinos, hotels, and related facilities. More than 22 million tourists visited Macau in 2006. The recent growth in gambling and tourism has been driven primarily by mainland Chinese and tourists from Hong Kong.

Macau depends on China for most of its food, fresh water, and energy imports. The European Union and Hong Kong are the main suppliers of raw materials and capital goods.

Over the longer term, the relocation of manufacturing operations from Macau to the neighboring Chinese province of Guangdong will extend to textiles and garment production as China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) gives the mainland increased direct access to international markets. Mainland competition, along with the 2005 end of Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) quotas, which had provided a near guarantee of export markets, will eventually spell the end of Macau's low-end mass production of textiles, which has comprised the bulk of the SAR's merchandise export earnings. The best opportunities may lie in providing services—shipping, finance, legal—to facilitate mainland exports through Macau to the rest of the world, and conversely inflows of goods and investment to the main-land. Gambling tourism is also an important area of potential economic growth and foreign exchange earnings.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Macau's foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of China. China has, however, granted Macau considerable autonomy in economic and commercial relations.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

HONG KONG (CG) 26 Garden Road, Central, APO/FPO AmConGen Hong Kong, PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521, (852) 2523-9011, Fax (852) 2845-1598, Workweek: 0830-1730, Website: http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov.

DCM OMS:Virginia S. Burns
AMB OMS:Kyla J. Seals
DHS/ICE:Leo L. Lin
FCS:Stewart J. Ballard
FM:Robert Peterson
HRO:Anush Dawidjan
MGT:Michael C. Mullins
POL ECO:Laurent D. Charbonnet
AMB:James B. Cunningham
CON:Steven S. Maloney
DCM:Christopher J. Marut
PAO:Anthony A. Hutchinson
GSO:Mark S. Johnsen
RSO:Vincent D. Graham
ATO:Philip A. Shull
CLO:Kathleen M. Grabruck/Frances G. Ballard
DAO:CAPT Theodore P. Algire
DEA:Gene T. Goon
FMO:Michelle A. Burton
IMO:Gary Cook
IPO:Roger J. Bjorkdahl
ISO:Joan Hutfles
LEGATT:Nelson Low

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

October 17, 2007

Country Description: Macau, formerly a Chinese territory under Portuguese administration, became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on December 20, 1999. The SAR maintains a high degree of autonomy, except in the areas of defense and foreign policy. Macau retains its own currency, laws, and border controls. Facilities for tourism are well developed. Gambling, tourism, and textile and apparel manufacturing are the largest sectors in Macau's economy. With a population of approximately 508,500, Macau covers a 28.2 square-kilometer area including the peninsula of Macau, connected to the PRC, and the two islands of Taipa and Coloane linked by a highway 2.2 km long.

Entry Requirements: Valid passports are required. Passports should be valid for 30 days beyond the intended period of stay in Macau. Because many neighboring areas require six months validity remaining on the passport, U.S. citizens planning travel beyond Macau should ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months from the date of their proposed entry into such areas. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 30 days.

For further information on entry requirements, contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Room 110, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington DC 20007; telephone (202) 338-6688; fax (202) 588-9760; e-mail [email protected]; web site http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/, or the Consulates General of the PRC in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and Houston. Travelers may also consult the Macau Tourist Information Bureau's U.S. representative office at 5757 West Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, CA 90045-6407, telephone (310) 568-0009 or fax (310) 338-0708; http://www.macautourism.gov.mo Please see the Macau SAR government home page at http://www.gov.mo/ for the latest, up to date entry and exit requirements.

Holders of a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card or a Hong Kong Reentry Permit may use either document to enter Macau for a maximum stay of up to one (1) year. All visitors must present their passport or other valid travel document upon arrival. Visit the Embassy of the People's Republic of China web site at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/ for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security: For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, including the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: Petty street crime occasionally occurs in tourist areas in Macau, including in and around casinos and at the airport. Travelers should take caution with their personal belongings and travel documents at all times. Tourists can dial 112 to report crimes directly related to travel, such as petty theft.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Several major hospitals in Macau have adequate medical facilities and are able to provide emergency medical care. The Macau SAR government provides a telephone list of hospitals and health centers accessible at www.cityguide.gov.mo should know that 999 is the number to call in case of an emergency in Macau. Highly developed medical facilities and trained personnel are available in Hong Kong, which is about an hour by jetfoil and ten minutes by helicopter from Macau. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Macau is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance. Traffic moves on the left in Macau and roads are narrow and winding. Traffic is generally congested throughout the day. Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive by the airport, ferry terminal, and gaming venues. Public buses are also inexpensive and frequent.

For specific information concerning Macau driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Macau Tourist Information Bureau's U.S. representative office at 5757 W Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, California 90045-6407; telephone (310) 568-0009; fax (310) 338-0708), or the Macau Transport Department (Comissariado de Transito de Macau), Ave Sidonio Pais, Macau; telephone (853) 374-214; fax (853) 522-966; web site http://www.iacm.gov.mo (please note: web site is only available in Chinese and Portuguese).

Visit the website of Macau's tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at http://www.iacm.gov.mo (please note: web site is only available in Chinese and Portuguese).

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Macau, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Macau, Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Language: The official languages in the Macau SAR are Chinese and Portuguese. English, however, is spoken in tourist areas.

Currency: There are no currency restrictions for tourists in Macau. Although the pataca is the official currency in Macau, Hong Kong currency is commonly used in transactions, especially in tourist areas. Travelers visiting Macau from Hong Kong may wish to bring sufficient Hong Kong dollars to cover their expenses. Credit cards and ATM network debit cards are widely accepted in Macau. Banks and major hotels accept traveler's checks.

Customs Regulations: Macau customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Macau of items such as firearms, ivory, certain categories of medications, and other goods. There is a 5% duty levied on electrical appliances and equipment imported into Macau.

It is advisable to contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington D.C. or one of the PRC's Consulates in the United States at the addresses noted above, or the Macau Customs Service, Rua S. Tiago da Barra, Doca D. Carlos I, SW, Barra-Macau, telephone (853) 559-944 or fax (853) 371-136 for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see http://www.customs.gov.mo for further information.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving these products, such as watches, compact discs, computer software and clothing, are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/ or fines.

Dual Nationality: Under the nationality law of the PRC, persons of Chinese descent who were born in the PRC, including Macau, are PRC citizens. However, under an agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China, all U.S. citizens entering Macau on their U.S. passports, including such persons as may be considered PRC nationals by the PRC authorities, are considered U.S. citizens by the Macau SAR authorities for purposes of ensuring U.S. consular access and protection during their initial legal stay of up to 30 days in Macau.

Dual national residents or former residents of Macau who wish to ensure U.S. consular access and protection after the initial 30-day period of visa-free admission into Macau should declare their U.S. nationality to the Macau Immigration Department upon arrival.

Dual-national residents of Macau who enter Macau on travel documents other than their U.S. passports and who desire U.S. consular protection should declare their U.S. nationality as soon as possible after entry. This “declaration of change of nationality” will ensure U.S. consular protection. It may also result in loss of one's PRC nationality (but not necessarily one's right of abode). Whereas failure to declare U.S. nationality may jeopardize U.S. consular protection, such failure will not jeopardize one's U.S. citizenship.

Dual nationals contemplating onward travel into mainland China should be attentive to use of their U.S. passports. Dual nationals who enter or depart mainland China using a U.S. passport and a valid PRC visa retain the right of U.S. consular access and protection under the U.S.-PRC Consular Convention. The ability of the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General to provide normal consular services would be extremely limited should a dual national enter mainland China on a Macau SAR or other non-U.S. passport. In addition to being subject to all Macau SAR laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may be subject to laws of Macau that impose special obligations on Macau citizens.

Typhoons: During the storm season (July through September), the Macau Observatory (Direccao dos Servicos Meteorologicos e Geofisicos) issues typhoon warnings on an average of six times a year. The Macau Observatory has a good notification and monitoring system in place. Please consult the Macau Observatory's web site at http://www.smg.gov.mo for further information. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Macau's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Macau are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Macau are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Macau. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. There is no U.S. diplomatic or consular presence in Macau. Consular assistance for U.S. citizens is provided by the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong; telephone (852) 2523-9011 or (852) 2841-2211; fax (852) 2845-4845; e-mail [email protected]; website http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov. The mailing address (from the U.S.) of the Consulate General in Hong Kong is PSC 461, Box 5, FPO AP 96521-0006. U.S. citizens living in or visiting Macau are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and obtain updated information on travel and security within Macau.

International Adoption

February 2007

The information in this section has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Please Note: U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents who are interested in adopting from Macau are strongly encouraged to contact U.S. consular officials in Hong Kong before formalizing an adoption agreement in Macau, to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed that will make it possible for the child to obtain an. immigrant visa.

Patterns of Immigration: Very few intercountry adoptions occur in Macau. According to the Social Welfare Bureau in Macau, only one orphan has been adopted by a foreign family (Portuguese nationals) in the past five years.

Adoption Authority: The Social Welfare Bureau of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government is the sole Adoption Authority in Macau. Contact information is as follows:

Social Welfare Bureau of the Macau
Special Administrative Region Government
Estrada do Cemiterio, no. 6,
Macau, China;
Tel: (853) 3997716, 3997717, 3997736;
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.ias.gov.mo.

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents: To qualify to adopt a child in Macau, prospective parent(s) must meet one of the criteria listed below:

  • Be a legally married couple (both over 25 years of age, married for at least three years and not de facto separated).
  • Be a couple both over 25 years of age, who have been cohabitating for at least 5 years.
  • Be a single person who is at least 28 years of age (unless the birth parent of the prospective adoptee has been living with the potential adopting parent under de facto marriage for over 3 years—in this case, the prospective adoptive parent must be at least 25 years old).

Prospective adoptive parents should be at least 18 years older than the child they hope to adopt. Likewise, there should not be more than a 50-year age gap between the age of either prospective adoptive parent and the prospective adoptee. Children born in Macau are Chinese nationals and ethnic-Chinese parents stand a better chance of getting matched with a child.

Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for intercountry adoption cases in Macau. Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that the Social Welfare Bureau will first try to find a family resident in Macau to adopt any available children.

Time Frame: The Social Welfare Bureau will review all adoption applications within 10 days and inform the facilitating Central Authority or adoption organization of the decision. The total time frame between the initial submission of the application and the final decision by the court can be more than one year. Should the adoption be approved, prospective adoptive parent(s) should be prepared to travel to Macau for approximately 2–3 weeks for legal proceedings and to escort the adoptee back to the United States.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: Prospective adoptive parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services. For U.S.-based agencies, it is suggested that prospective adoptive parents contact the Better Business Bureau and/or the licensing office of the appropriate state government agency in the U.S. state where the agency is located or licensed.

Adoption Fees: The Social Welfare Bureau does not charge any fees for the assessment and matching process. Prospective adoptive parents are responsible for paying all fees and expenses related to court proceedings, applications for certified documents, transportation, etc. An estimate of the fees associated with the adoption process in Macau was not provided to the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong.

Adoption Procedures: Parents hoping to adopt a child in Macau should submit an application to the Social Welfare Bureau. Applications can be submitted either through the Central Authority in the country where the parent(s) habitually reside or via a licensed agency/organization engaging in intermediary adoption activities. Prospective adoptive parents living in Macau and possessing valid Macau identity cards may submit an application directly to the Social Welfare Bureau.

The Social Welfare Bureau will review the adoption application and notify the relevant agency/organization of its decision. Once an application has been accepted, the Social Welfare Bureau will start the process of matching the prospective adoptive parent(s) with a child.

Once a match has been made, the Social Welfare Bureau will compile a “feasibility study” of the adoption. If, based on the findings of the study, the application is approved, the Social Welfare Bureau will initiate judicial entrustment procedures before a civil court (Tribunal Judicial de Base). Once an authorization for judicial entrustment has been obtained, arrangements will be made for the child to live abroad with the adoptive parent(s) for a trial period. Such trial periods typically last for up to one year.

During this period, the Social Welfare Bureau will work with the relevant authorities in Singapore to determine whether the adoption by the applicant(s) would be in the best interests of the child. For the adoption to be legally finalized in Macau, a final adoption judgment must be submitted to the Social Welfare Bureau either by the relevant Central Authority of the country of the adoptive parents’ habitual residence or by a certified adoption agency.

Required Documents: Any application to adopt a child in Macau must provide the following documentation:

  • Proof that the biological parents of the prospective adoptee have given permission for the adoption. If the child is 12 years old or older, he/she must also consent to the adoption. Certain exemptions do exist, and prospective adoptive parents should consult legal counsel with knowledge of the laws of Macau.
  • Documentation that the prospective adoptive parents have been evaluated and declared suitable to adopt by an authorized entity in their country of residence. The Social Welfare Bureau will accept a Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition (Form I-171H) together with a full home study report to fulfill this requirement.
  • Proof that the laws in the prospective adoptive parents’ country of residence allow the child and adoptive parents to live together for a sufficient period of time to establish a parent-child relationship.
  • Documentation: proof of identity (U.S. passport), marriage certificate(s) or evidence of termination of previous marriage(s), proof of income, copies of school credentials, evidence of prior adoptions (if any), medical examination reports for the adoptive parent(s), police certification to show any existing criminal records, and family photos. Please note that notarized or certified copies of documents are generally accepted by authorities in Macau.

The Embassy of the People's
Republic of China,
Washington, D.C.
2300 Connecticut Ave., NW,
Washington DC 20008
Tel: (202) 328-2500
Fax: (202) 588-0032
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.china-embassy.org

The People's Republic of China also has Consulates in Chicago, Houston, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

U.S. Immigration Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong Street Address
26 Garden Road, Central,
Hong Kong
Mailing Address from the U.S.
PSC 461, Box 5,
FPO AP 96521-0006;
Tel: (852) 2841-2211,
Fax (852) 2845-4845Website:http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov/visa_inquiries.html.

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in Macau may be addressed to the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-407-4747.

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Macau

MACAU

Official Name:
Macau Special Administrative Region


PROFILE

Geography

Area:

27.5 square kilometers total, with 8.8 sq. km. on a peninsula connected to China and the southern islands of Taipa (6.4 sq. km.), Coloane (7.6 sq. km.), and Co Tai (4.7 sq. km., reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane) linked by bridge and causeway.

Terrain:

Coastline is flat, inland is hilly and rocky.

Climate:

Tropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer.

People

Nationality:

Noun—Macanese (sing. and pl.). Population (December 2004): 465,300.

Population growth rate (2004):

3.7%.

Ethnic groups:

Chinese 95.7%, Portuguese 1.7%.

Religion:

Buddhist 17%, Roman Catholic 7%, Christian 2%.

Language:

In 1992, the government gave the Chinese (Cantonese) language official status and the same legal force as Portuguese, the official language.

Education:

Literacy—91.3%.

Work force:

Manufacturing—16.4%; construction—8.3%; wholesale and retail trade, repair, hotels and restaurants—27.1%; financial intermediation, real estate, and related business activities—8.6%; public administration, other community, social and personal services, including gaming—31.8%; transport, storage and communications—6.8%.

Government

Type:

Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China since December 20, 1999 with its own mini-constitution (the Basic Law).

Branches:

Executive—President of the People's Republic of China (head of state), chief executive (head of government), Executive Council (cabinet). Legislative—Legislative Assembly. Judicial—Independent judicial system with a high court (the Court of Final Appeal).

Economy

GDP at 2002 constant prices (2004):

$10 billion.

GDP real growth rate (2004):

28%.

Per capita GDP at 2002 constant prices (2004):

$21,856.

Agriculture:

Products—rice and vegetables; most foodstuffs and water are imported.

Industry:

Types—tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, toys, footwear, construction, and real estate development.

Trade (2004):

Exports—$2.8 billion f.o.b.: textiles and clothing, manufactured goods (especially toys, footwear and machinery & mechanical appliances). Major markets—U.S. 49%, Hong Kong 8%, China 14%, EU 22%. Imports—$3.5 billion: consumer goods, foodstuffs, fuels, and raw materials. Major suppliers—China 44%, Hong Kong 11%, EU 13%, Taiwan 5%, Japan 10%.


PEOPLE

Macau's population is 95.7% Chinese, primarily Cantonese and some Hakka, both from nearby Guangdong Province. The remainder are of Portuguese or mixed Chinese-Portuguese ancestry. The official languages are Portuguese and Chinese (Cantonese). English is spoken in tourist areas. Macau has ten higher education institutions, including the University of Macau; 85.5% of the University of Macau's 4,708 students are local and 14.5% from overseas.


HISTORY

Chinese records of Macau date back to the establishment in 1152 of Xiangshan County under which Macau was administered, though it remained unpopulated through most of the next century. Members of the South Sung (Song) Dynasty and some 50,000 followers were the first recorded inhabitants of the area, seeking refuge in Macau from invading Mongols in 1277. They were able to defend their settlements and establish themselves there.

The Hoklo Boat people were the first to show commercial interest in Macau as a trading center for the southern provinces. Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century. Portuguese traders used Macau as a staging port as early as 1516, making it the oldest European settlement in the Far East. In 1557, the Chinese agreed to a Portuguese settlement in Macau but did not recognize Portuguese sovereignty. Although a Portuguese municipal government was established, the sovereignty question remained unresolved.

Initially, the Portuguese developed Macau's port as a trading post for China-Japan trade and as a staging port on the long voyage from Lisbon to Nagasaki. When Chinese officials banned direct trade with Japan in 1547, Macau's Portuguese traders carried goods between the two countries. The first Portuguese governor was appointed to Macau in 1680, but the Chinese continued to assert their authority, collecting land and customs taxes. Portugal continued to pay rent to China until 1849, when the Portuguese abolished the Chinese customs house and declared Macau's "independence," a year which also saw Chinese retaliation and finally the assassination of Gov. Ferreira do Amaral.

On March 26, 1887, the Manchu government acknowledged the Portuguese right of "perpetual occupation." The Manchu-Portuguese agreement, known as the Protocol of Lisbon, was signed with the condition that Portugal would never surrender Macau to a third party without China's permission.

Macau enjoyed a brief period of economic prosperity during World War II as the only neutral port in South China, after the Japanese occupied Guangzhou (Canton) and Hong Kong. In 1943, Japan created a virtual protectorate over Macau. Japanese domination ended in August 1945.

When the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, they declared the Protocol of Lisbon to be invalid as an "unequal treaty" imposed by foreigners on China. However, Beijing was not ready to settle the treaty question, requesting maintenance of "the status quo" until a more appropriate time. Beijing took a similar position on treaties relating to the Hong Kong territories.

Riots broke out in 1966 when procommunist Chinese elements and the Macau police clashed. The Portuguese Government reached an agreement with China to end the flow of refugees from China and to prohibit all communist demonstrations. This move ended the conflict, and relations between the government and the leftist organizations have remained peaceful.

The Portuguese tried once in 1966 after the riots in Macau, and again in 1974, the year of a military revolution in Portugal, to return Macau to Chinese sovereignty. China refused to reclaim Macau however, hoping to settle the question of Hong Kong first.

Portugal and China established diplomatic relations in 1979. A year later, Gen. Melo Egidio became the first Governor of Macau to visit China. The visit underscored both parties' interest in finding a mutually agreeable solution to Macau's status; negotiations began in 1985, a year after the signing of the Sino-U.K. agreement returning Hong Kong to China in 1997. The result was a 1987 agreement returning Macau to Chinese sovereignty as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on December 20, 1999.


GOVERNMENT

The chief executive is appointed by China's central government after selection by an election committee, whose members are nominated by corporate bodies. The chief executive appears before a cabinet, the Executive Council (Exco), of between 7 and 11 members. The latest Exco, appointed on December 15, 2004, has 10 members. The term of office of the chief executive is 5 years, and no individual may serve for more than two consecutive terms. The chief executive has strong policymaking and executive powers similar to those of a president. These powers are, however, limited from above by the central government in Beijing, to whom the chief executive reports directly, and from below (to a more limited extent) by the legislature. Edmund Ho, a community leader and banker, is the first China-appointed chief executive of the Macau SAR, having replaced General de Rocha Viera on December 20, 1999. Ho was reappointed to a second term on September 20, 2004.

The legislative organ of the territory is the Legislative Assembly, a 29-member body of 12 directly elected members, 10 appointed members representing functional constituencies, and seven members appointed by the chief executive. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for general lawmaking, including taxation, the passing of the budget, and socioeconomic legislation. In the last election, held in September 2005, pro-entertainment industry groups won five of the 10 directly elected seats, pro-democracy groups won two seats, and pro-China parties won four; a former civil servant took the remaining seat. The next election will be held in 2009. The city of Macau and the islands of Taipa and Coloane each had a

municipal council until January 1, 2002, when the Civic and Municipal Bureau was formally established to replace the two municipal councils.

The legal system is based largely on Portuguese law. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the chief executive. Foreign judges may serve on the courts. In July 1999 the chief executive appointed a seven-person committee to select judges for the SAR. Twenty-four judges were recommended by the committee and were then appointed by Mr. Ho. Macau has three courts: the Court of the First Instance, the Court of the Second Instance, and the Court of Final Appeal, Macau's highest court. Sam Hou Fai is the President (Chief Justice) of the Court of Final Appeal.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 11/3/2005

Chief Executive: Edmund HO Hau-wah
Sec. for Administration & Justice: Florinda Da Rosa Silva CHAN
Sec. for Economics & Finance: Francis TAM Pak-yuen
Sec. for Security: CHEONG Kuoc Va
Sec. for Social Affairs & Culture: Fernando CHUI Sai-on
Sec. for Transportation & Public Works: AO Man Long
Procurator Gen.: HO Chio Meng
Pres., Court of Final Appeal: SAM Hou Fai
Pres., Legislative Council: Susana CHOU
Commissioner, Audit: Fatima Mei-lei CHOI
Commissioner, Independent Commission Against Corruption: CHEONG U


ECONOMY

Macau's economy is based largely on tourism, including gambling, and textile and garment manufacturing. Efforts to diversify have spawned other small industries, such as footwear, and machinery and mechanical appliances. The clothing industry has provided about three-fourths of export earnings, and it is estimated that the gambling industry contributed more than 50% of GDP in 2004. The opening of the gambling sector since 2002 has led to significant new investment in casinos, hotels, and related facilities. More than 16.7 million tourists visited Macau in 2004. The recent growth in gambling and tourism has been driven primarily by mainland Chinese and tourists from Hong Kong.

Macau depends on China for most of its food, fresh water, and energy imports. The European Union and Hong Kong are the main suppliers of raw materials and capital goods.

Over the longer term, the relocation of manufacturing operations from Macau to the neighboring Chinese province of Guangdong will extend to textiles and garment production as China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) gives the mainland increased direct access to international markets. Mainland competition, along with the 2005 end of Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) quotas, which had provided a near guarantee of export markets, will eventually spell the end of Macau's low-end mass production of textiles, which has comprised the bulk of the SAR's merchandise export earnings. The best opportunities may lie in providing services—shipping, finance, legal—to facilitate mainland exports through Macau to the rest of the world, and conversely inflows of goods and investment to the mainland. Gambling tourism is also an important area of potential economic growth and foreign exchange earnings.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Macau's foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of China. China has, however, granted Macau considerable autonomy in economic and commercial relations.

Principal U.S. Consulate Officials

The U.S. Government has no offices in Macau. U.S. interests are represented by the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong.

HONG KONG (M) Address: 26 Garden Road, Central; APO/FPO: AmConGen Hong Kong, PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521; Phone: (852) 2523-9011; Fax: (852) 2845-1598; Workweek: 0830-1730

AMB:James B. Cunningham
AMB OMS:Kyla J. Seals
DCM:Marlene J. Sakaue
DCM OMS:Linda M. Mason-Witt
POL:Simon J. Schuchat
CON:Richard F. Gonzalez
MGT:Michael C. Mullins
ATO:Lloyd S. Harbert
CLO:Kathleen M. Grabruck;
Frances G. Ballard
CUS:Thomas J. Howe
DAO:George T. Foster
DEA:Gene T. Goon
ECO:Simon J. Schuchat
FCS:Stewart J. Ballard
FMO:Laurence A. Rigg
GSO:Mark S. Johnsen
ICASS Chair:Lloyd S. Harbert
IMO:Janifer K. Sulaiman
IPO:Steven G. Ackerman
ISO:Wenyi Shu
LEGATT:Kingman K. Wong
PAO:Richard W. Stites
RSO:Robert Mendez
Last Updated: 2/2/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

August 10, 2005

Country Description:

Macau, formerly a Chinese territory under Portuguese administration, became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on December 20, 1999, with a high degree of autonomy, except in the areas of defense and foreign policy. Macau retains its own currency, laws, and border controls. Facilities for tourism are well developed. Gambling, tourism, and textile and apparel manufacturing are the major sectors in Macau 's economy. With a population of approximately 469,800, Macau covers a 27.3 square-kilometer area including the peninsula of Macau, connected to the PRC, and the two islands of Taipa and Coloane linked by a highway 2.2 km long.

Entry/Exit Requirements:

Valid passports are required. Passports should be valid for 30 days beyond the intended period of stay in Macau. Because many neighboring areas require six months validity remaining on the passport, U.S. citizens planning travel beyond Macau should ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months from the date of their proposed entry into such areas. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 30 days. For further information on entry requirements, contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Room 110, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20007; tel (202) 338-6688; fax (202) 588-9760; e-mail [email protected]; website http://www.china-embassy.org, or the Consulates General of the PRC in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and Houston. Travelers may also consult the Macau Tourist Information Bureau's U.S. representative office at 5757 West Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, CA 90045-6407, tel (310) 568-0009 or fax (310) 338-0708. See also the Macau Government home page at http://www.gov.mo/.

Holders of a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card or a Hong Kong Re-entry Permit may use either document to enter Macau for a maximum stay of one (1) year. U.S. citizens who do not hold either document must present their U.S. passport to enter Macau. Visit the Embassy of the People's Republic of China website at http://www.china-embassy.org for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security:

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information of safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers out-side the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime:

Petty street crime occasionally occurs in tourist areas in Macau, including in and around casinos.

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information:

Several major hospitals in Macau have adequate medical facilities and are able to provide emergency medical care. The Macau government provides a telephone list of hospitals and health centers accessible at http://www.cityguide.gov.mo/phone/phone_e.asp?cat=6. Highly developed medical facilities and trained personnel are available in Hong Kong, which is about an hour by jetfoil and ten minutes by helicopter from Macau.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Macau is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic moves on the left in Macau, and roads are narrow and winding. Traffic is generally congested throughout the day. Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive by the airport, ferry terminal, and gaming venues. Public buses are also inexpensive and frequent.

For specific information concerning Macau driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Macau Tourist Information Bureau's U.S. representative office at 5757 W. Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, California 90045-6407; tel (310) 568-0009; fax (310) 338-0708), or the Macau Transport Department (Comissariado de Transito de Macau), Ave Sidonio Pais, Macau; tel (853) 374-214; fax (853) 522-966; website http://www.iacm.gov.mo.

Visit the website of the country's national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at http://www.iacm.gov.mo.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Macau, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Macau's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa.

Language:

The official languages in the Macau SAR are Chinese and Portuguese. English, however, is spoken in tourist areas.

Currency:

There are no currency restrictions for tourists in Macau. Although the pataca is the official currency in Macau, Hong Kong currency is commonly used in transactions, especially in tourist areas. Travelers visiting Macau from Hong Kong may wish to bring sufficient Hong Kong dollars to cover their expenses. Credit cards and ATM network debit cards are widely accepted in Macau. Banks and major hotels accept traveler's checks.

Customs Regulations:

Macau customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Macau of items such as firearms, ivory, certain categories of medications, and other goods. There is a 5% duty levied on electrical appliances and equipment imported into Macau. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington D.C. or one of the PRC's consulates in the United States at the addresses noted above, or the Macau Customs Service, Rua S. Tiago da Barra, Doca D. Carlos I, SW, Barra-Macau, tel (853) 559-944 or fax (853) 371-136 for specific information regarding customs requirements.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving these products, such as watches, compact discs, computer software and clothing, are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

Dual Nationality:

Under the nationality law of the PRC, persons of Chinese descent who were born in the PRC, including Macau, are PRC citizens. However, under an agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China, all U.S. citizens entering Macau on their U.S. passports, including such persons as may be considered PRC nationals by the PRC authorities, are considered U.S. citizens by the Macau SAR authorities for purposes of ensuring U.S. consular access and protection during their initial legal stay of up to 30 days in Macau.

Dual national residents or former residents of Macau who wish to ensure U.S. consular access and protection after the initial 30-day period of visa-free admission into Macau should declare their U.S. nationality to the Macau Immigration Department upon arrival. Dual-national residents of Macau who enter Macau on travel documents other than their U.S. passports and who desire U.S. consular protection should declare their U.S. nationality as soon as possible after entry. This "declaration of change of nationality" will ensure U.S. consular protection. It may also result in loss of one's PRC nationality (but not necessarily one's right of abode). Whereas failure to declare U.S. nationality may jeopardize U.S. consular protection, such failure will not jeopardize one's U.S. citizenship.

Dual nationals contemplating onward travel into mainland China should be attentive to use of their U.S. passports. Dual nationals who enter or depart mainland China using a U.S. passport and a valid PRC visa retain the right of U.S. consular access and protection under the U.S.PRC Consular Convention. The ability of the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General to provide normal consular services would be extremely limited should a dual national enter mainland China on a Macau SAR or other non-U.S. passport.

In addition to being subject to all Macau SAR laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may be subject to laws of Macau that impose special obligations on Macau citizens.

Typhoons:

During the storm season (July through September), Macau Observatory (Direccao dos Servicos Meteorologicos e Geofisicos) issues typhoon warnings on an average of six times a year. Macau Observatory has a good notification and monitoring system in place. Please consult Macau Observatory's website at http://www.smg.gov.mo for further information. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.

Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Macau's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Macau are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://www.travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

Americans living or traveling in Macau are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Macau. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

There is no U.S. diplomatic or consular presence in Macau. Consular assistance for U.S. citizens is provided by the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong; tel (852) 2523-9011 or (852) 2841-2211; fax (852) 2845-4845; e-mail [email protected]; website http://www.hongkong.usconsulate.gov. The mailing address (from the U.S.) of the Consulate General in Hong Kong is PSC 461, Box 5, FPO AP 96521-0006. U.S. citizens living in or visiting Macau are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and obtain updated information on travel and security within Macau.

International Parental Child Abduction

January 2006

The information below has been edited from the report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov.

Disclaimer:

The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

General Information:

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the "Hague Convention") came into force between the United States and Macau on March 1, 1999. Therefore, Hague Convention provisions for return would apply to children abducted or retained after March 1, 1999. Parents and legal guardians of children taken to Macau prior to March 1, 1999, may still submit applications for access to the child under the Hague Convention in some cases.

Please Note:

Submit your completed, signed application as soon as possible. Do not wait to get a custody order to begin the application process. A custody order issued after the taking or retention (a "chasing order") is not relevant to your Hague case and may, in fact, complicate it.

For more information, please read the International Parental Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov.

Legal Counsel:

You will require an attorney to file the Hague application with the court and to represent your interests in hearings on your application. You will usually be required to give evidence as to the circumstances of your child's removal or retention, usually in the form of a sworn statement or affidavit. Under the Convention, Macau is not obligated to pay for or in any way assume any costs resulting from court proceedings. Legal assistance is available. Qualification for assistance is based on economic need. Information regarding qualification for legal assistance may be obtained from the Macau Central Authority office.

Time Frame:

Enforcement of a decision for return under the Hague Convention may take several months from the time the application is filed. It is important to remember that the Macau legal system differs from that in the United States. How the court considers the case, and how and when it issues its decision, will vary from region to region as well as from case to case. The Macau courts give Hague Convention matters priority, but scheduling is still dependent on court availability. You should consult your Macau attorney for an assessment of the procedure and anticipated delays in that country.

Appeals:

Decisions on Hague applications may be appealed by either party, which may further delay enforcement of a decision. You should consult directly with your Macau attorney regarding appeal procedures.

Criminal Remedies:

For information on possible criminal remedies, please contact your local law enforcement authorities or the nearest office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Information is also available on the Internet at the web site of the U.S. Department of Justice, http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org. Please note that criminal charges may complicate a Hague Convention case. Contact the country officer in the Office of Children's Issues for specific information.

For further information on international parental child abduction, contact the Office of Children's Issues at 202-736-7000, visit the State Department website on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov, or send a nine-by-twelve-inch, self-addressed envelope to: Office of Children's Issues, SA-29, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520-2818; Phone: (202) 736-9090; Fax: (202) 312-9743.

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Macau

Macau

Compiled from the September 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Macau Special Administrative Region

PROFILE

PEOPLE

HISTORY

GOVERNMENT

ECONOMY

FOREIGN RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 28.2 square kilometers total, with 8.9 sq. km. on a peninsula connected to China and the southern islands of Taipa (6.5 sq. km.), Coloane (7.6 sq. km.), and Co Tai (5.2 sq. km., reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane) linked by bridge and causeway.

Terrain: Coastline is flat, inland is hilly and rocky.

Climate: Tropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer.

People

Nationality: Noun—Macanese (sing. and pl.).

Population: (2nd Quarter 2006) 503,000.

Population growth rate: (2nd 2006) 5.5%.

Ethnic groups: Chinese 95.7%, Portuguese 1.7%.

Religions: Buddhist 17%, Roman Catholic 7%, Christian 2%.

Languages: In 1992, the government gave the Chinese (Cantonese) language official status and the same legal force as Portuguese, the official language.

Education: Literacy—91.3%.

Work force: Manufacturing—12.0%; construction—11.8%; wholesale and retail trade, repair, hotels and restaurants—25.3%; financial intermediation, real estate, and related business activities—8.8%; public administration, other community, social and personal services, including gaming—35.3%; transport, storage and communications—6.0%.

Government

Type: Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China since December 20, 1999 with its own mini-constitution (the Basic Law).

Government branches: Executive—President of the People’s Republic of China (head of state), chief executive (head of government), Executive Council (cabinet). Legislative—Legislative Assembly. Judicial—Independent judicial system with a high court (the Court of Final Appeal).

Economy

GDP: At 2002 constant prices (2005) $10.7 billion.

GDP real growth rate: (2005) 6.7%.

Per capita GDP: At 2002 constant prices: (2005) $22,451.

Agriculture: Products—rice and vegetables; most foodstuffs and water are imported.

Industry: Types—tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, toys, footwear, construction, and real estate development.

Trade: (2005) Exports—$2.5 billion f.o.b.: textiles and clothing, manufactured goods (especially toys, footwear and machinery & mechanical appliances). Major markets—U.S. 48.7%, Hong Kong 9.8%, China 14.9%, EU 17.1%. Imports—$3.9 billion: consumer goods, foodstuffs, fuels, and raw materials. Major suppliers—China 43.1%, Hong Kong 10.0%, EU 13.1%, U.S. 4.1%, Taiwan 4.0%, Japan 10.9%.

PEOPLE

Macau’s population is 95.7% Chinese, primarily Cantonese and some Hakka, both from nearby Guangdong Province. The remainder are of Portuguese or mixed Chinese-Portuguese ancestry. The official languages are Portuguese and Chinese (Cantonese). English is spoken in tourist areas. Macau has ten higher education institutions, including the University of Macau; 80.7% of the University of Macau’s 5,562 students are local and 19.3% from overseas.

HISTORY

Chinese records of Macau date back to the establishment in 1152 of Xiangshan County under which Macau was administered, though it remained unpopulated through most of the next century. Members of the South Sung (Song) Dynasty and some 50,000 followers were the first recorded inhabitants of the area, seeking refuge in Macau from invading Mongols in 1277. They were able to defend their settlements and establish themselves there.

The Hoklo Boat people were the first to show commercial interest in Macau as a trading center for the southern provinces. Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century. Portuguese traders used Macau as a staging port as early as 1516, making it the oldest European settlement in the Far East. In 1557, the Chinese agreed to a Portuguese settlement in Macau but did not recognize Portuguese sovereignty. Although a Portuguese municipal government was established, the sovereignty question remained unresolved.

Initially, the Portuguese developed Macau’s port as a trading post for China-Japan trade and as a staging port on the long voyage from Lisbon to Nagasaki. When Chinese officials banned direct trade with Japan in 1547, Macau’s Portuguese traders carried goods between the two countries. The first Portuguese governor was appointed to Macau in 1680, but the Chinese continued to assert their authority, collecting land and customs taxes. Portugal continued to pay rent to China until 1849, when the Portuguese abolished the Chinese customs house and declared Macau’s “independence,” a year which also saw Chinese retaliation and finally the assassination of Gov. Ferreira do Amaral.

On March 26, 1887, the Manchu government acknowledged the Portuguese right of “perpetual occupation.” The Manchu-Portuguese agreement, known as the Protocol of Lisbon, was signed with the condition that Portugal would never surrender Macau to a third party without China’s permission. Macau enjoyed a brief period of economic prosperity during World War II as the only neutral port in South China, after the Japanese occupied Guangzhou (Canton) and Hong Kong. In 1943, Japan created a virtual protectorate over Macau. Japanese domination ended in August 1945.

When the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, they declared the Protocol of Lisbon to be invalid as an “unequal treaty” imposed by foreigners on China. However, Beijing was not ready to settle the treaty question, requesting maintenance of “the status quo” until a more appropriate time. Beijing took a similar position on treaties relating to the Hong Kong territories.

Riots broke out in 1966 when pro-communist Chinese elements and the Macau police clashed. The Portuguese Government reached an agreement with China to end the flow of refugees from China and to prohibit all communist demonstrations. This move ended the conflict, and relations between the government and the leftist organizations have remained peaceful.

The Portuguese tried once in 1966 after the riots in Macau, and again in 1974, the year of a military revolution in Portugal, to return Macau to Chinese sovereignty. China refused to reclaim Macau however, hoping to settle the question of Hong Kong first.

Portugal and China established diplomatic relations in 1979. A year later, Gen. Melo Egidio became the first Governor of Macau to visit China. The visit underscored both parties’ interest in finding a mutually agreeable solution to Macau’s status; negotiations began in 1985, a year after the signing of the Sino-U.K. agreement returning Hong Kong to China in 1997. The result was a 1987 agreement returning Macau to Chinese sovereignty as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on December 20, 1999.

GOVERNMENT

The chief executive is appointed by China’s central government after selection by an election committee, whose members are nominated by corporate bodies. The chief executive appears before a cabinet, the Executive Council (Exco), of between 7 and 11 members. The latest Exco, appointed on December 15, 2004, has 10 members. The term of office of the chief executive is 5 years, and no individual may serve for more than two consecutive terms. The chief executive has strong policymaking and executive powers similar to those of a president. These powers are, however, limited from above by the central government in Beijing, to whom the chief executive reports directly, and from below (to a more limited extent) by the legislature. Edmund Ho, a community leader and banker, is the first China-appointed chief executive of the Macau SAR, having replaced General de Rocha Viera on December 20, 1999. Ho was re-appointed to a second term on September 20, 2004.

The legislative organ of the territory is the Legislative Assembly, a 29-member body of 12 directly elected members, 10 appointed members representing functional constituencies, and seven members appointed by the chief executive. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for general lawmaking, including taxation, the passing of the budget, and socioeconomic legislation. In the last election, held in September 2005, pro-entertainment industry groups won five of the 10 directly elected seats, pro-democracy groups won two seats, and pro-China parties won four; a former civil servant took the remaining seat. The next election will be held in 2009. The city of Macau and the islands of Taipa and Coloane each had a municipal council until January 1, 2002,

when the Civic and Municipal Bureau was formally established to replace the two municipal councils.

The legal system is based largely on Portuguese law. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the chief executive. Foreign judges may serve on the courts. In July 1999 the chief executive appointed a seven-person committee to select judges for the SAR. Twenty-four judges were recommended by the committee and were then appointed by Mr. Ho. Macau has three courts: the Court of the First Instance, the Court of the Second Instance, and the Court of Final Appeal, Macau’s highest court. Sam Hou Fai is the President (Chief Justice) of the Court of Final Appeal.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/25/2007

Chief Executive: Edmund HO Hau-wah

Sec. for Administration & Justice: Florinda Da Rosa Silva CHAN

Sec. for Economics & Finance: Francis TAM Pak-yuen

Sec. for Security: CHEONG Kuoc Va

Sec. for Social Affairs & Culture: Fernando CHUI Sai-on

Sec. for Transportation & Public Works: AO Man Long

Procurator Gen.: HO Chio Meng

Pres., Court of Final Appeal: SAM Hou Fai

Pres., Legislative Council: Susana CHOU

Commissioner, Audit: Fatima Mei-lei CHOI

Commissioner, Independent Commission Against Corruption: CHEONG U

ECONOMY

Macau’s economy is based largely on tourism, including gambling, and textile and garment manufacturing. Efforts to diversify have spawned other small industries, such as footwear, and machinery and mechanical appliances. The clothing industry has provided about three-fourths of export earnings, and it is estimated that the gambling industry contributed more than 50% of GDP in 2005. The opening of the gambling sector since 2002 has led to significant new investment in casinos, hotels, and related facilities. More than 18.7 million tourists visited Macau in 2005. The recent growth in gambling and tourism has been driven primarily by mainland Chinese and tourists from Hong Kong.

Macau depends on China for most of its food, fresh water, and energy imports. The European Union and Hong Kong are the main suppliers of raw materials and capital goods.

Over the longer term, the relocation of manufacturing operations from Macau to the neighboring Chinese province of Guangdong will extend to textiles and garment production as China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) gives the mainland increased direct access to international markets. Mainland competition, along with the 2005 end of Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) quotas, which had provided a near guarantee of export markets, will eventually spell the end of Macau’s low-end mass production of textiles, which has comprised the bulk of the SAR’s merchandise export earnings. The best opportunities may lie in providing services—shipping, finance, legal—to facilitate mainland exports through Macau to the rest of the world, and conversely inflows of goods and investment to the mainland. Gambling tourism is also an important area of potential economic growth and foreign exchange earnings.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Macau’s foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of China. China has, however, granted Macau considerable autonomy in economic and commercial relations.

The U.S. Government has no offices in Macau. U.S. interests are represented by the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

HONG KONG (CG) Address: 26 Garden Road, Central; APO/FPO: AmConGen Hong Kong, PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521; Phone: (852) 2523-9011; Fax: (852) 2845-1598; Workweek: 0830-1730; Website: USCONSULATE.ORG.HK.

AMB:James B. Cunningham
AMB OMS:Kyla J. Seals
DCM:Marlene J. Sakaue
DCM OMS:Linda M. Mason-Witt
POL:Laurent D. Charbonnet
CON:Steven S. Maloney
MGT:Michael C. Mullins
ATO:Philip A. Shull
CLO:Kathleen M. Grabruck/Frances G. Ballard
CUS:Leo L. Lin
DAO:Theodore P. Algire
DEA:Gene T. Goon
ECO:Laurent D. Charbonnet
FCS:Stewart J. Ballard
FMO:Laurence A. Rigg
GSO:Mark S. Johnsen
IMO:Janifer K. Sulaiman
IPO:Roger J. Bjorkdahl
ISO:Wenyi Shu
LEGATT:Kingman K. Wong
PAO:Anthony A. Hutchinson
RSO:Vincent D. Graham

Last Updated: 11/26/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : October 31, 2006

Country Description: Macau, formerly a Chinese territory under Portuguese administration, became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on December 20, 1999, with a high degree of autonomy, except in the areas of defense and foreign policy. Macau retains its own currency, laws, and border controls. Facilities for tourism are well developed. Gambling, tourism, and textile and apparel manufacturing are the major sectors in Macau’s economy. With a population of approximately 503,000, Macau covers a 27.3 square-kilometer area including the peninsula of Macau, connected to the PRC, and the two islands of Taipa and Coloane linked by a highway 2.2 km long.

Entry/Exit Requirements: Valid passports are required. Passports should be valid for 30 days beyond the intended period of stay in Macau. Because many neighboring areas require six months validity remaining on the passport, U.S. citizens planning travel beyond Macau should ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months from the date of their proposed entry into such areas. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 30 days. For further information on entry requirements, contact the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Room 110, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20007; tel (202) 338-6688; fax (202) 588-9760; website http://www.china-embassy.org, or the Consulates General of the PRC in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and Houston. Travelers may also consult the Macau Tourist Information Bureau’s U.S. representative office at 5757 West Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, CA 90045-6407, tel (310) 568-0009 or fax (310) 338-0708. www.macautourism.gov.mo. Please See the Macau Government home page at http://www.gov.mo/ for the latest, entry and exit requirements.

Holders of a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card or a Hong Kong Re-entry Permit may use either document to enter Macau for a maximum stay of up to one (1) year. All visitors must present their passport or other valid travel document upon arrival. Visit the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China website at http://www.china-embassy.org for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security: For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Petty street crime occasionally occurs in tourist areas in Macau, including in and around casinos and at the airport. Travelers should take caution with their personal belongings and travel documents at all times. Tourists can dial 112 to report crimes directly related to travel, such as petty theft.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Several major hospitals in Macau have adequate medical facilities and are able to provide emergency medical care.

Travelers should know that 999 is the number to call in case of an emergency in Macau. Highly developed medical facilities and trained personnel are available in Hong Kong, which is about an hour by jetfoil and ten minutes by helicopter from Macau.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Macau is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic moves on the left in Macau, and roads are narrow and winding. Traffic is generally congested throughout the day. Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive by the airport, ferry terminal, and gaming venues. Public buses are also inexpensive and frequent.

For specific information concerning Macau driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Macau Tourist Information Bureau’s U.S. representative office at 5757 W. Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, California 90045-6407; tel (310) 568-0009; fax (310) 338-0708), or the Macau Transport Department (Comissariado de Transito de Macau), Ave Sidonio Pais, Macau; tel (853) 374-214; fax (853) 522-966; website http://www.iacm.gov.mo.

Visit the website of the country’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at http://www.iacm.gov.mo.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Macau, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Macau’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Language: The official languages in the Macau SAR are Chinese and Portuguese. English, however, is spoken in tourist areas.

Currency: There are no currency restrictions for tourists in Macau. Although the pataca is the official currency in Macau, Hong Kong currency is commonly used in transactions, especially in tourist areas. Travelers visiting Macau from Hong Kong may wish to bring sufficient Hong Kong dollars to cover their expenses. Credit cards and ATM network debit cards are widely accepted in Macau. Banks and major hotels accept traveler’s checks.

Customs Regulations: Macau customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Macau of items such as firearms, ivory, certain categories of medications, and other goods. There is a 5% duty levied on electrical appliances and equipment imported into Macau. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Washington D.C. or one of the PRC’s consulates in the United States at the addresses noted above, or the Macau Customs Service, Rua S. Tiago da Barra, Doca D. Carlos I, SW, BarraMacau, tel (853) 559-944 or fax (853) 371-136 for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Dual Nationality: Under the nationality law of the PRC, persons of Chinese descent who were born in the PRC, including Macau, are PRC citizens. However, under an agreement between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, all U.S. citizens entering Macau on their U.S. passports, including such persons as may be considered PRC nationals by the PRC authorities, are considered U.S. citizens by the Macau SAR authorities for purposes of ensuring U.S. consular access and protection during their initial legal stay of up to 30 days in Macau.

Dual national residents or former residents of Macau who wish to ensure U.S. consular access and protection after the initial 30-day period of visa-free admission into Macau should declare their U.S. nationality to the Macau Immigration Department upon arrival. Dual-national residents of Macau who enter Macau on travel documents other than their U.S. passports and who desire U.S. consular protection should declare their U.S. nationality as soon as possible after entry. This “declaration of change of nationality” will ensure U.S. consular protection. It may also result in loss of one’s PRC nationality (but not necessarily one’s right of abode). Whereas failure to declare U.S. nationality may jeopardize U.S. consular protection, such failure will not jeopardize one’s U.S. citizenship.

Dual nationals contemplating onward travel into mainland China should be attentive to use of their U.S. passports. Dual nationals who enter or depart mainland China using a U.S. passport and a valid PRC visa retain the right of U.S. consular access and protection under the U.S.-PRC Consular Convention. The ability of the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General to provide normal consular services would be extremely limited should a dual national enter mainland China on a Macau SAR or other non-U.S. passport.

In addition to being subject to all Macau SAR laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may be subject to laws of Macau that impose special obligations on Macau citizens.

Typhoons: During the storm season (July through September), the Macau Observatory (Direccao dos Servicos Meteorologicos e Geofisicos) issues typhoon warnings on an average of six times a year. The Macau Observatory has a good notification and monitoring system in place. Please consult the Macau Observatory’s website at http://www.smg.gov.mo for further information. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Macau’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Macau are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Macau are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the website, so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Macau. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

There is no U.S. diplomatic or consular presence in Macau. Consular assistance for U.S. citizens is provided by the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong; tel (852) 2523-9011 or (852) 2841-2211; fax (852) 2845-4845; email [email protected] com; website http://www.hongkong.usconsulate.gov. The mailing address (from the U.S.) of the Consulate General in Hong Kong is PSC 461, Box 5, FPO AP 96521-0006. U.S. citizens living in or visiting Macau are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and obtain updated information on travel and security within Macau.

International Adoption : February 2007

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding.

Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Patterns of Immigration: Very few intercountry adoptions occur in Macau. According to the Social Welfare Bureau in Macau, only one orphan has been adopted by a foreign family (Portuguese nationals) in the past five years.

Adoption Authority: The Social Welfare Bureau of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government is the sole Adoption Authority in Macau. Contact information is as follows:

Social Welfare Bureau of the Macau
Special Administrative Region Government
Estrada do Cemiterio, no. 6,
Macau, China;
Tel: (853) 3997716
3997717, 3997736;
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.ias.gov.mo.

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents: To qualify to adopt a child in Macau, prospective parent(s) must meet one of the criteria listed below:

  • Be a legally married couple (both over 25 years of age, married for at least three years and not de facto separated).
  • Be a couple both over 25 years of age, who have been cohabitating for at least 5 years.
  • Be a single person who is at least 28 years of age (unless the birth parent of the prospective adoptee has been living with the potential adopting parent under de facto marriage for over 3 years – in this case, the prospective adoptive parent must be at least 25 years old).

Prospective adoptive parents should be at least 18 years older than the child they hope to adopt. Likewise, there should not be more than a 50-year age gap between the age of either prospective adoptive parent and the prospective adoptee. Children born in Macau are Chinese nationals and ethnic-Chinese parents stand a better chance of getting matched with a child.

Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for intercountry adoption cases in Macau. Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that the Social Welfare Bureau will first try to find a family resident in Macau to adopt any available children.

Time Frame: The Social Welfare Bureau will review all adoption applications within 10 days and inform the facilitating Central Authority or adoption organization of the decision. The total time frame between the initial submission of the application and the final decision by the court can be more than one year. Should the adoption be approved, prospective adoptive parent(s) should be prepared to travel to Macau for approximately 2-3 weeks for legal proceedings and to escort the adoptee back to the United States.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: Prospective adoptive parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services. For U.S.-based agencies, it is suggested that prospective adoptive parents contact the Better Business Bureau and/or the licensing office of the appropriate state government agency in the U.S. state where the agency is located or licensed.

Adoption Fees: The Social Welfare Bureau does not charge any fees for the assessment and matching process. Prospective adoptive parents are responsible for paying all fees and expenses related to court proceedings, applications for certified documents, transportation, etc.

An estimate of the fees associated with the adoption process in Macau was not provided to the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong.

Adoption Procedures: Parents hoping to adopt a child in Macau should submit an application to the Social Welfare Bureau. Applications can be submitted either through the Central Authority in the country where the parent(s) habitually reside or via a licensed agency/organization engaging in intermediary adoption activities.

Prospective adoptive parents living in Macau and possessing valid Macau identity cards may submit an application directly to the Social Welfare Bureau.

The Social Welfare Bureau will review the adoption application and notify the relevant agency/organization of its decision. Once an application has been accepted, the Social Welfare Bureau will start the process of matching the prospective adoptive parent(s) with a child. Once a match has been made, the Social Welfare Bureau will compile a “feasibility study” of the adoption. If, based on the findings of the study, the application is approved, the Social Welfare Bureau will initiate judicial entrustment procedures before a civil court (Tribunal Judicial de Base).

Once an authorization for judicial entrustment has been obtained, arrangements will be made for the child to live abroad with the adoptive parent(s) for a trial period. Such trial periods typically last for up to one year. During this period, the Social Welfare Bureau will work with the relevant authorities in Singapore to determine whether the adoption by the applicant(s) would be in the best interests of the child.

For the adoption to be legally finalized in Macau, a final adoption judgment must be submitted to the Social Welfare Bureau either by the relevant Central Authority of the country of the adoptive parents’ habitual residence or by a certified adoption agency.

Documentary Requirements: Any application to adopt a child in Macau must provide the following documentation:

  • Proof that the biological parents of the prospective adoptee have given permission for the adoption. If the child is 12 years old or older, he/she must also consent to the adoption. Certain exemptions do exist, and prospective adoptive parents should consult legal counsel with knowledge of the laws of Macau;
  • Documentation that the prospective adoptive parents have been evaluated and declared suitable to adopt by an authorized entity in their country of residence. The Social Welfare Bureau will accept a Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition (Form I-171H) together with a full home study report to fulfill this requirement;
  • Proof that the laws in the prospective adoptive parents’ country of residence allow the child and adoptive parents to live together for a sufficient period of time to establish a parent-child relationship;
  • Documentation: proof of identity (U.S. passport), marriage certificate(s) or evidence of termination of previous marriage(s), proof of income, copies of school credentials, evidence of prior adoptions (if any), medical examination reports for the adoptive parent(s), police certification to show any existing criminal records, and family photos. Please note that notarized or certified copies of documents are generally accepted by authorities in Macau.

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Washington, D.C.
2300 Connecticut Ave., NW,
Washington DC 20008

Tel: (202) 328-2500
Fax: (202) 588-0032
E-mail:
[email protected]
Website: http://www.china-embassy.org

The People’s Republic of China also has Consulates in Chicago, Houston, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

U.S. Immigration Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong:
Street Address
26 Garden Road, Central
Hong Kong

Mailing Address from the U.S.
PSC 461, Box 5,
FPO AP 96521-0006;
Tel: (852) 2841-2211,
Fax (852) 2845-4845
Website: http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov/visa_inquiries.html.

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in Macau may be addressed to the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-407-4747.

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Macau

MACAU

Compiled from the December 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.


Official Name:
Macau Special Administrative Region


PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE


Geography

Area: 16 sq. km. (6 sq. mi.) on a peninsula connected to China and the southern islands of Taipa (3.4 sq. km.) and Coloane (7.2 sq. km.) linked by bridge and causeway.

Terrain: Coastline is flat, inland is hilly and rocky.

Climate: Tropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer.


People

Nationality: Noun—Macanese (sing. and pl.).

Population: (July 2003 est.) 469,903.

Population growth rate: (2003 est.) 1.72%.

Ethnic groups: Chinese 95%, Portuguese 3%.

Religions: Buddhist 45%, Roman Catholic 9%.

Languages: In 1992, the government gave the Chinese (Cantonese) language official status and the same legal force as Portuguese, the official language.

Education: Literacy—95%.

Work force: Industry and commerce—68%; services—12%; agriculture and fishing—9%.

Government

Type: Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China since December 20, 1999 with its own mini-constitution (the Basic Law).

Branches: Executive—President of the People's Republic of China (head of state), Chief executive (head of government), Executive Council (cabinet). Legislative—Legislative Council. Judicial—Independent judicial system with a high court (the Court of Final Appeal).


Economy

GDP PPP: (2002 est.) $8.6 billion.

GDP real growth rate: (2002) 9.5%.

Per capita GDP PPP: (2002 est.) $18,500.

Agriculture: Products—rice and vegetables; most foodstuffs and water are imported.

Industry: Types—tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, toys, footwear, construction, and real estate development.

Trade: (2002) Exports—$2.36 billion f.o.b.: textiles and clothing, manufactured goods (especially toys, electronics, footwear and cement). Major markets—U.S. 46%, Hong Kong 6%, China 15%. Imports—$2.5 billion: consumer goods, foodstuffs, fuels, and raw materials. Major suppliers—China 42%, Hong Kong 15%, EU 12%, Taiwan 7%, Japan 7%




PEOPLE

Macau's population is 95% Chinese, primarily Cantonese and some Hakka, both from nearby Guangdong Province. The remainder are of Portuguese or mixed Chinese-Portuguese ancestry. The official languages are Portuguese and Chinese (Cantonese). English is spoken in tourist areas. Macau has only one university (University of Macau); most of its 7,700 students are from Hong Kong.




HISTORY

Chinese records of Macau date back to the establishment in 1152 of Xiangshan County under which Macau was administered, though it remained unpopulated through most of the next century. Members of the South Sung (Song) Dynasty and some 50,000 followers were the first recorded inhabitants of the area, seeking refuge in Macau from invading Mongols in 1277. They were able to defend their settlements and establish themselves there.

The Hoklo Boat people were the first to show commercial interest in Macau as a trading center for the southern provinces. Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century. Portuguese traders used Macau as a staging port as early as 1516, making it the oldest European settlement in the Far East. In 1557, the Chinese agreed to a Portuguese settlement in Macau but did not recognize Portuguese sovereignty. Although a Portuguese municipal government was established, the sovereignty question remained unresolved.


Initially, the Portuguese developed Macau's port as a trading post for China-Japan trade and as a staging port on the long voyage from Lisbon to Nagasaki. When Chinese officials banned direct trade with Japan in 1547, Macau's Portuguese traders carried goods between the two countries. The first Portuguese governor was appointed to Macau in 1680, but the Chinese continued to assert their authority, collecting land and customs taxes. Portugal continued to pay rent to China until 1849, when the Portuguese abolished the Chinese customs house and declared Macau's "independence," a year which also saw Chinese retaliation and finally the assassination of Gov. Ferreira do Amaral.


On March 26, 1887, the Manchu government acknowledged the Portuguese right of "perpetual occupation." The Manchu-Portuguese agreement, known as the Protocol of Lisbon, was signed with the condition that Portugal would never surrender Macau to a third party without China's permission.


Macau enjoyed a brief period of economic prosperity during World War II as the only neutral port in South China, after the Japanese occupied Guangzhou (Canton) and Hong Kong. In 1943, Japan created a virtual protectorate over Macau. Japanese domination ended in August 1945.

When the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, they declared the Protocol of Lisbon to be invalid as an "unequal treaty" imposed by foreigners on China. However, Beijing was not ready to settle the treaty question, requesting a maintenance of "the status quo" until a more appropriate time. Beijing took a similar position on treaties relating to the Hong Kong territories.


Riots broke out in 1966 when the procommunist Chinese elements and the Macau police clashed. The Portuguese Government reached an agreement with China to end the flow of refugees from China and to prohibit all communist demonstrations. This move ended the conflict, and relations between the government and the leftist organizations have remained peaceful.


The Portuguese tried once in 1966 after the riots in Macau, and again in 1974, the year of a military revolution in Portugal, to return Macau to Chinese sovereignty. China refused to reclaim Macau however, hoping to settle the question of Hong Kong first.


Portugal and China established diplomatic relations in 1979. A year later, Gen. Melo Egidio became the first Governor of Macau to visit China. The visit underscored both parties' interest in finding a mutually agreeable solution to Macau's status; negotiations began in 1985, a year after the signing of the Sino-U.K. agreement returning Hong Kong to China in 1997. The result was a 1987 agreement returning Macau to Chinese sovereignty as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on December 20, 1999.




GOVERNMENT

The chief executive is appointed by China's central government after selection by an election committee, whose members are nominated by corporate bodies. The chief executive appears before a cabinet, the Executive Council, of between 7 and 11 members. The term of office of the chief executive is 5 years, and no individual may serve for more than two consecutive terms. The governor has strong policymaking and executive powers similar to those of a president. These powers are, however, limited from above by the central government in Beijing, to whom the governor reports directly, and from below (to a more limited extent) by the legislature. Edmund Ho, a community leader and banker, is the first China-appointed chief executive of the Macau SAR, having replaced General de Rocha Viera on December 20, 1999. Ho's first term expires in December 2004.

The legislative organ of the territory is the legislative Assembly, a 27-member body comprising of ten directly elected members, ten appointed members representing functional constituencies, and seven members appointed by the chief executive. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for general lawmaking, including taxation, the passing of the budget and socioeconomic legislation. In the last election, held in September 2001, pro-Entertainment industry groups won 3 of the ten directly elected seats, pro-democracy groups won two seats, while pro-China parties won four; pro-business groups took the remaining seat. The next election will be held in 2005. The city of Macau and the islands of Taipa and Coloane each have a municipal council.


The legal system is based largely on Portuguese law. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the chief executive. Foreign judges may serve on the courts. In July 1999 the chief executive appointed a seven-person committee to select judges for the SAR. Twenty-four judges were recommended by the committee and were then appointed by Mr. Ho. Macau has three courts: the Court of the First Instance, the Court of the Second Instance, and the Court of Final Appeal, Macau's highest court.
Sam Hou Fai is the President (Chief Justice) of the Court of Final Appeal.


Principal Government Officials

Chief Executive: Ho, Hau-wah (Edmund)

Sec for Administration & Justice: Chan, Florinda Da Rosa Silva

Sec for Economics & Finance: Tam, Francis Pak-un

Sec for Security: Cheong, Kuoc Va

Sec for Social Affairs & Culture: Chui, Fernando Sai-on

Sec for Transportation & Public Works: Ao, Man Long

Procurator Gen.: Ho Chio, Meng

Pres., Court of Final Appeal: Sam, Hou Fai

Pres., Legislative Council: Chou, Susana Commissioner, Audit: Choi, Fatima Meilei

Commissioner, Independent Commission Against Corruption: Cheong, U




ECONOMY

Macau's economy is based largely on tourism, including gambling, and textile and fireworks manufacturing. Efforts to diversify have spawned other small industries, such as toys, artificial flowers, and electronics. The clothing industry has provided about three-fourths of export earnings, and the gambling industry is estimated to contribute more than 40% of GDP. More than 10 million tourists visited Macau in 2001. Although the recent growth in gambling and tourism has been driven primarily by mainland Chinese, tourists from Hong Kong remain the most numerous. Recently, gang violence, a dark spot in the economy, has declined, to the benefit of the tourism sector.


Macau depends on China for most of its food, fresh water, and energy imports. Japan and Hong Kong are the main suppliers of raw materials and capital goods.


Over the longer term, the relocation of manufacturing operations from Macau to the neighboring Chinese province of Guangdong will extend to textiles and garment production as China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) gives the mainland increased direct access to international markets. Mainland competition, along with the phasing out of Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) quotas, which provide a near guarantee of export markets, over the next few years, will eventually spell the end of Macau's low-end mass production of textiles, which comprise the bulk of the SAR's merchandise export earnings. The best opportunities may lie in providing services—shipping, finance, legal—to facilitate mainland exports through Macau to the rest of the world, and conversely inflows of goods and investment to the mainland. Gambling tourism is also an important area of potential economic growth and foreign-exchange earnings.




FOREIGN RELATIONS

Macau's foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of China. China has, however, granted Macau considerable autonomy in economic and commercial relations.


Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

The U.S. Government has no offices in Macau. U.S. interests are represented by the U.S. consulate general in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong (CG), 26 Garden Rd. • PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521-0006, Tel [852] 2523-9011(after hours/emergency: 2841-2230); CON Fax 2147-5790; ADM Fax 2524-0860; FAS Address: 18th Fl., St. John's Bldg., 33 Garden Rd., Tel 2841-2350, Fax 2845-0943; COM Address: 17th Fl., St. John's Bldg., 33 Garden Rd., Tel 2521-1467, Fax 2845-9800. IVG No. 727-0000 (after hours 727-2230). Website: www.hongkong.usconsulate.gov

CG: James R. Keith
CG OMS: Mary F. Allen
DPO: Kenneth H. Jarrett
ECO/POL: Simon J. Schuchat
COM: Barry Friedman
CON: Richard F. Gonzalez
MGT: Lewis R. Atherton
GSO: Raymond J. Kengott
RSO: Martin Chu
PAO: Richard W. Stites
OLA: Bradley J. Kaplan
FAS: Lloyd S. Harbert
APHIS: Dale Maki (res. Beijing)
INS: Barry Tang
CUS: Thomas J. Howe
DEA: Thomas Ma
FAA: Elizabeth Keck (res. Beijing)
IRS: Stanley Beesley (res. Tokyo)
FBI: Kingman K. Wong
USSS: Kit A. Menches
IMO: James M. Maddox


Last Modified: Monday, December 15, 2003


TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet
October 10, 2003


Country Description: Macau, formerly a Chinese territory under Portuguese administration, became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on December 20, 1999. Macau enjoys a high degree of autonomy, except in the areas of defense and foreign policy, and retains its own currency, laws, and border controls. Facilities for tourism are well developed. Gambling, tourism, textile and apparel manufacturing are the major sectors in Macau's economy. With a population of approximately 442,000, Macau covers a 26.8 square-kilometer area including the peninsula of Macau, connected to the PRC, and the small, adjacent islands of Taipa and Coloane that are linked by a highway 2.2 km long.


Entry and Exit Requirements: Valid passports are required. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 30 days. For further information on entry requirements, contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China (PRC), 2300 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20008, Tel: (202) 328-2500 through 2502, or the Consulates General of the PRC in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, and Houston. Travelers may also consult the Macau Tourist Information Bureau's U.S. representative office at 5757 West Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, CA 90045-6407, Tel: (310) 568-0009 or fax: (310) 338-0708. See also the Macau Government home page at http://www.macau.gov.mo.


The pataca (US1.00 to approximately 7.80 patacas) is the official currency in Macau. Included in the cost of ferry tickets from Macau to Hong Kong is a departure tax of 20 patacas. The airport departure tax for flights from Macau to China is 80 patacas, and 130 patacas for flights to other destinations.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.


Dual Nationality: Under the nationality law of the PRC, persons of Chinese descent who were born in the PRC, including Macau, are PRC citizens. However, under an agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China, all U.S. citizens entering Macau on their U.S. passports, including such persons who may be considered PRC nationals by the PRC authorities, are considered U.S. citizens by the Macau SAR authorities for purposes of ensuring consular access and protection during their initial legal stay of up to 30 days in Macau.


However, dual-national residents or former residents of Macau who wish to ensure U.S. consular access and protection after the initial 30-day period of visa-free admission into Macau, should declare their U.S. nationality to the Macau Immigration Department upon arrival. Dual-national residents of Macau who enter Macau on travel documents other than their U.S. passports, and who desire to guarantee U.S. consular protection, should declare their U.S. nationality as soon as possible after entry. This declaration of change of nationality will ensure U.S. consular protection and will also result in loss of one's PRC nationality (but not necessarily one's right of abode). Whereas failure to declare U.S. nationality may jeopardize U.S. consular protection, such failure in itself will not jeopardize one's U.S. citizenship.


Dual nationals contemplating onward travel into mainland China should be attentive to use of their U.S. passports. Dual nationals who enter or depart China using a U.S. passport and a valid PRC visa retain the right of U.S. consular access and protection under the U.S.-PRC Consular Convention. The ability of the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General to provide normal consular services would be extremely limited should a dual national enter mainland China on a Macau SAR or other non-U.S. passport.


In addition to being subject to all Macau SAR laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to laws of Macau that impose special obligations on Macau citizens. For additional information, see the Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov for our dual nationality flyer.


Safety and Security: For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.


The Overseas Citizens Services call center at 1-888-407-4747 can answer general inquiries on safety and security overseas. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8: 00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during the se hours by calling 1-317-472-2328.


Crime: Petty street crime occasionally occurs in tourist areas in Macau, including in and around casinos. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are a victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds can be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" for information on safeguarding valuables, protecting personal safety, and other suggestions for promoting a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.


Medical Facilities: Several major hospitals in Macau have adequate medical facilities and are able to provide emergency medical care. Highly developed medical facilities and trained personnel are available in Hong Kong, which is about an hour by jetfoil and ten minutes by helicopter from Macau.


Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance companies prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States, unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.


When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have found it to be life-saving when a medical emergency has occurred. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, "Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad," available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or through the Bureau's autofax service at (202)647-3000.


Other Health Information: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), via the CDC autofax service at 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.


Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Macau is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.


Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good Traffic moves on the left in Macau, and roads are narrow and winding. Traffic is generally congested throughout the day. Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive, as are public buses.


For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road safety.html. For specific information concerning Macau driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Macau Tourist Information Bureau's U.S. representative office at 5757 W. Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, California 90045-6407 (Tel: (310) 568-0009, Fax: (310) 338-0708), or the Macau Transport Department (Comissariado de Transito de Macau, Ave Sidonio Pais, Macau (tel: (853) 374-214, fax: (853) 522-966; http://www.iacm.gov.mo.


Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service by Macau carriers at present between the U.S. and Macau, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Macau's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.


The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.


Customs Regulations: Macau customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Macau of items such as firearms, ivory, certain categories of medications, and other goods. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington D.C. or one of the PRC's consulates in the United States at the addresses noted above, or the Macau Customs Service, Rua S. Tiago da Barra, Doca D. Carlos I, SW, Barra-Macau (tel: (853) 559-944, fax: (853) 371-136 for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Visitors to Macau should be aware that U.S. law prohibits the importation into the United States of counterfeit brand-name items such as watches, compact discs, computer software, and clothing.


Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the laws of Macau, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Macau are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.


Special Circumstances: The official languages in the Macau SAR are Chinese and Portuguese. English, however, is spoken in tourist areas. There are no currency restrictions for tourists in Macau. Although the pataca is the official currency in Macau, Hong Kong currency is commonly used in transactions especially in tourist areas. Pegged to the value of the Hong Kong dollar, a pataca is worth slightly less than one Hong Kong dollar. Travelers visiting Macau from Hong Kong may wish to bring sufficient Hong Kong dollars to cover their expenses. Credit cards and ATM network debit cards are widely accepted in Macau. Banks and major hotels accept traveler's checks.


Disaster Preparedness: During the storm season (July through September), Macau Observatory (Direcccao dos Servicos Meteorologicose Geofisicos) issued typhoon warnings on average of six times a year. Macau Observatory has a good notification and monitoring system in place.

Please consult Macau Observatory's website at www.smg.gov.mo for further information. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.


Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's issues.html or telephone the Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) Call Center at 1-888-407-747. The OCS Call Center can answer general inquiries regarding international adoptions and will forward calls to the appropriate country officer in the Bureau of Consular Affairs. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-317-472-2328.


Registration/U.S. Consulate General Location: There is no U.S. diplomatic or consular presence in Macau. Consular assistance for U.S. citizens is provided by the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. U.S. citizens living in or visiting Macau are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and obtain updated information on travel and security within Macau. The address is 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong. The telephone number in Hong Kong is (852) 2523-9011 or (852) 2841-2211; fax (852) 2845-4845. The e-mail address of the American Citizen Services Section of the Consulate General is: [email protected] The mailing address (from the U.S.) of the Consulate General is PSC 461, Box 5, FPO AP 96521-0006; the Internet home page is http://www.usconsulate.gov.

International Parental Child Abduction

The information below has been edited from the report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, American Citizen Services. For more information, please read the Guarding Against International Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov


General Information: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the "Hague Convention") came into force between the United States and Macau on March 1, 1999. Therefore, Hague Convention provisions for return would apply to children abducted or retained after March 1, 1999. Parents and legal guardians of children taken to Macau prior to March 1, 1999, may still submit applications for access to the child under the Hague Convention in some cases.

Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program: Separate from the two-parent signature requirement for U.S. passport issuance, parents may also request that their children's names be entered in the U.S. passport name-check system, also know as CPIAP. A parent or legal guardian can be notified by the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues before a passport is issued to his/her minor child. The parent, legal guardian or the court of competent jurisdiction must submit a written request for entry of a child's name into the Passport Issuance Alert program to the Office of Children's Issues. The CPIAP also provides denial of passport issuance if appropriate court orders are on file with the Office of Children's Issues. Although this system can be used to alert a parent or court when an application for a U.S. passport has been executed on behalf of a minor, it cannot be used to track the use of a passport that has already been issued. If there is a possibility that your child has another nationality you may want to contact the appropriate embassy or consulate directly to inquire about the possibility of denial of that country's passport. There is no requirement that foreign embassies adhere to U.S. regulations regarding issuance and denial of passports. For more information contact the Office of Children's Issues at 202-312-9700. General passport information is also available on the Office of Children's Issues home page on the internet at http://www.travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html.

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Macau

MACAU

Compiled from the December 2004 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Macau Special Administrative Region


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 27.3 square kilometers total, with 8.7 sq. km. (sq. mi.) on a peninsula connected to China and the southern islands of Taipa (6.3 sq. km.) and Coloane (7.6 sq. km.) linked by bridge and causeway.

Terrain: Coastline is flat, inland is hilly and rocky.

Climate: Tropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer.

People

Nationality: Noun—Macanese (sing. and pl.).

Population: (December 2003 est.) 448.500

Population growth rate: (2003 est.) 1.1%.

Ethnic groups: Chinese 95.7%, Portuguese 1.7%.

Religions: Buddhist 17%, Roman Catholic 7%, Christian 2%.

Languages: In 1992, the government gave the Chinese (Cantonese) language official status and the same legal force as Portuguese, the official language.

Education: Literacy 91.3%.

Work force: Manufacturing −18%; construction −8%; wholesale and retail trade −16%; hotels and restaurants −11%; financial intermediation −3%; community, social and personal services −12%.

Government

Type: Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China since December 20, 1999 with its own mini-constitution (the Basic Law).

Branches: Executive—President of the People's Republic of China (head of state), Chief executive (head of government), Executive Council (cabinet). Legislative—Legislative Assembly. Judicial—Independent judicial system with a high court (the Court of Final Appeal).

Economy

GDP PPP: (2003) $8.6 billion.

GDP real growth rate: (2003) 15.6%.

Per capita GDP PPP: (2003) $19,460.

Agriculture: Products—rice and vegetables; most foodstuffs and water are imported.

Industry: Types—tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, toys, footwear, construction, and real estate development.

Trade: (2003) Exports—$2.6 billion f.o.b.: textiles and clothing, manufactured goods (especially toys, footwear and machinery & mechanical appliances). Major markets—U.S. 50%, Hong Kong 7%, China 14%, Germany, 8%. Imports—$2.8 billion: consumer goods, foodstuffs, fuels, and raw materials. Major suppliers—China 43%, Hong Kong 13%, EU 12%, Taiwan 6%, Japan 9%


PEOPLE

Macau's population is 95.7% Chinese, primarily Cantonese and some Hakka, both from nearby Guangdong Province. The remainder are of Portuguese or mixed Chinese-Portuguese ancestry. The official languages are Portuguese and Chinese (Cantonese). English is spoken in tourist areas. Macau has ten higher education institutions, including the University of Macau; 85.5% of the University of Macau's 4,708 students are local and 14.5% from overseas.


HISTORY

Chinese records of Macau date back to the establishment in 1152 of Xiangshan County under which Macau was administered, though it remained unpopulated through most of the next century. Members of the South Sung (Song) Dynasty and some 50,000 followers were the first recorded inhabitants of the area, seeking refuge in Macau from invading Mongols in 1277. They were able to defend their settlements and establish themselves there.

The Hoklo Boat people were the first to show commercial interest in Macau as a trading center for the southern provinces. Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century. Portuguese traders used Macau as a staging port as early as 1516, making it the oldest European settlement in the Far East. In 1557, the Chinese agreed to a Portuguese settlement in Macau but did not recognize Portuguese sovereignty. Although a Portuguese municipal government was established, the sovereignty question remained unresolved.

Initially, the Portuguese developed Macau's port as a trading post for China-Japan trade and as a staging port on the long voyage from Lisbon to Nagasaki. When Chinese officials banned direct trade with Japan in 1547, Macau's Portuguese traders carried goods between the two countries. The first Portuguese governor was appointed to Macau in 1680, but the Chinese continued to assert their authority, collecting land and customs taxes. Portugal continued to pay rent to China until 1849, when the Portuguese abolished the Chinese customs house and declared Macau's "independence," a year which also saw Chinese retaliation and finally the assassination of Gov. Ferreira do Amaral.

On March 26, 1887, the Manchu government acknowledged the Portuguese right of "perpetual occupation." The Manchu-Portuguese agreement, known as the Protocol of Lisbon, was signed with the condition that Portugal would never surrender Macau to a third party without China's permission.

Macau enjoyed a brief period of economic prosperity during World War II as the only neutral port in South China, after the Japanese occupied Guangzhou (Canton) and Hong Kong. In 1943, Japan created a virtual protectorate over Macau. Japanese domination ended in August 1945.

When the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, they declared the Protocol of Lisbon to be invalid as an "unequal treaty" imposed by foreigners on China. However, Beijing was not ready to settle the treaty question, requesting a maintenance of "the status quo" until a more appropriate time. Beijing took a similar position on treaties relating to the Hong Kong territories.

Riots broke out in 1966 when the procommunist Chinese elements and the Macau police clashed. The Portuguese Government reached an agreement with China to end the flow of refugees from China and to prohibit all communist demonstrations. This move ended the conflict, and relations between the government and the leftist organizations have remained peaceful.

The Portuguese tried once in 1966 after the riots in Macau, and again in 1974, the year of a military revolution in Portugal, to return Macau to Chinese sovereignty. China refused to reclaim Macau however, hoping to settle the question of Hong Kong first.

Portugal and China established diplomatic relations in 1979. A year later, Gen. Melo Egidio became the first Governor of Macau to visit China. The visit underscored both parties' interest in finding a mutually agreeable solution to Macau's status; negotiations began in 1985, a year after the signing of the Sino-U.K. agreement returning Hong Kong to China in 1997. The result was a 1987 agreement returning Macau to Chinese sovereignty as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on December 20, 1999.


GOVERNMENT

The chief executive is appointed by China's central government after selection by an election committee, whose members are nominated by corporate bodies. The chief executive appears before a cabinet, the Executive Council (Exco), of between 7 and 11 members. The latest Exco, appointed on December 15, 2004, has ten members. The term of office of the chief executive is 5 years, and no individual may serve for more than two consecutive terms. The governor has strong policymaking and executive powers similar to those of a president. These powers are, however, limited from above by the central government in Beijing, to whom the governor reports directly, and from below (to a more limited extent) by the legislature. Edmund Ho, a community leader and banker, is the first China-appointed chief executive of the Macau SAR, having replaced General de Rocha Viera on December 20, 1999. Ho was re-appointed to a second term on September 20, 2004.

The legislative organ of the territory is the legislative Assembly, a 27-member body comprising of ten directly elected members, ten appointed members representing functional constituencies, and seven members appointed by the chief executive. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for general lawmaking, including taxation, the passing of the budget and socioeconomic legislation. In the last election, held in September 2001, pro-Entertainment industry groups won 3 of the ten directly elected seats, pro-democracy groups won two seats, while pro-China parties won four; pro-business groups took the remaining seat. The next election will be held in 2005. The city of Macau and the islands of Taipa and Coloane each have a municipal council.

The legal system is based largely on Portuguese law. The territory has its own independent judicial system, with a high court. Judges are selected by a committee and appointed by the

chief executive. Foreign judges may serve on the courts. In July 1999 the chief executive appointed a seven-person committee to select judges for the SAR. Twenty-four judges were recommended by the committee and were then appointed by Mr. Ho. Macau has three courts: the Court of the First Instance, the Court of the Second Instance, and the Court of Final Appeal, Macau's highest court. Sam Hou Fai is the President (Chief Justice) of the Court of Final Appeal.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 12/10/2004

Chief Executive: Edmund HO Hau-wah
Sec. for Administration & Justice: Florinda Da Rosa Silva CHAN
Sec. for Economics & Finance: Francis TAM Pak-yuen
Sec. for Security: CHEONG Kuoc Va
Sec. for Social Affairs & Culture: Fernando CHUI Sai-on
Sec. for Transportation & Public Works: AO Man Long
Procurator Gen.: HO Chio Meng
Pres., Court of Final Appeal: SAM Hou Fai
Pres., Legislative Council: Susana CHOU
Commissioner, Audit: Fatima Mei-lei CHOI
Commissioner, Independent Commission Against Corruption: CHEONG U


ECONOMY

Macau's economy is based largely on tourism, including gambling, and textile and garment manufacturing. Efforts to diversify have spawned other small industries, such as footwear, and machinery and mechanical appliances. The clothing industry has provided about three-fourths of export earnings, and the gambling industry is estimated to contribute more than 40% of GDP. The opening of the gambling sector since 2002 has led to significant new investment in casinos, hotel and related facilities. More than 11.8 million tourists visited Macau in 2003. The recent growth in gambling and tourism has been driven primarily by mainland Chinese and tourists from Hong Kong.

Macau depends on China for most of its food, fresh water, and energy imports. The European Union and Hong Kong are the main suppliers of raw materials and capital goods.

Over the longer term, the relocation of manufacturing operations from Macau to the neighboring Chinese province of Guangdong will extend to textiles and garment production as China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) gives the mainland increased direct access to international markets. Mainland competition, along with the phasing out of Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) quotas, which provide a near guarantee of export markets, over the next few years, will eventually spell the end of Macau's low-end mass production of textiles, which comprise the bulk of the SAR's merchandise export earnings. The best opportunities may lie in providing services—shipping, finance, legal—to facilitate mainland exports through Macau to the rest of the world, and conversely inflows of goods and investment to the mainland. Gambling tourism is also an important area of potential economic growth and foreign-exchange earnings.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Macau's foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of China. China has, however, granted Macau considerable autonomy in economic and commercial relations.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

HONG KONG (M) Address: 26 Garden Road, Central; APO/FPO: AmConGen Hong Kong, PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521; Phone: (852) 2523-9011; Fax: (852) 2845-1598; Workweek: 0830-1730; Website: USCONSULATE.ORG.HK

AMB:James R. Keith
AMB OMS:Josephine M. Schaefer
DCM:Marlene J. Sakaue
DCM OMS:Linda M. Mason-Witt
POL:Simon J. Schuchat
CON:Richard F. Gonzalez
MGT:Lewis R. Atherton
AFSA:Nathaniel S. Turner
ATO:Lloyd S. Harbert
CLO:Jennifer A. Eckert
CUS:Thomas J. Howe
DAO:George T. Foster
DEA:Thomas Ma
ECO:Simon J. Schuchat
EEO:Michael Pascual
FCS:Stewart J. Ballard
FMO:Laurence A. Rigg
GSO:Raymond J. Kengott
ICASS Chair:Lloyd S. Harbert
IMO:Janifer K. Sulaiman
IPO:Elaine S. Tiang-Chu
ISO:Wenyi Shu
LEGATT:Kingman K. Wong
PAO:Richard W. Stites
RSO:Martin Chu
Last Updated: 1/4/2005

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

November 12, 2004

Country Description: Macau, formerly a Chinese territory under Portuguese administration, became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on December 20, 1999, with a high degree of autonomy, except in the areas of defense and foreign policy. Macau retains its own currency, laws, and border controls. Facilities for tourism are well developed. Gambling, tourism, and textile and apparel manufacturing are the major sectors in Macau's economy. With a population of approximately 442,000, Macau covers a 26.8 square-kilometer area including the peninsula of Macau, connected to the PRC, and the two islands of Taipa and Coloane linked by a highway 2.2 km long.

Entry/Exit Requirements: Valid passports are required. Passports should be valid for 30 days beyond the intended period of stay in Macau. Because many neighboring areas require six months validity remaining on the passport, U.S. citizens planning travel beyond Macau should ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months from the date of their proposed entry into such areas. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 30 days.

For further information on entry requirements, contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Room 110, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20007; tel (202) 338-6688; fax (202) 588-9760; e-mail [email protected]; website http://www.china-embassy.org, or the Consulates General of the PRC in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and Houston.

Travelers may also consult the Macau Tourist Information Bureau's U.S. representative office at 5757 West Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, CA 90045-6407, tel (310) 568-0009 or fax (310) 338-0708. See also the Macau Government home page at http://www.macau.gov.mo.

Holders of a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card may use the Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card to enter Macau for a maximum stay of one (1) year. U.S. citizens who do not hold a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card must present their U.S. passport to enter Macau. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on Macau and other countries. Visit the Embassy of the People's Republic of China website for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security: For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Crime: Petty street crime occasionally occurs in tourist areas in Macau, including in and around casinos.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. See our information on Victims of Crime at http://travel.state.gov/travel/brochure_victim_assistance.html.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Several major hospitals in Macau have adequate medical facilities and are able to provide emergency medical care. The Macau government provides a telephone list of hospitals and health centers accessible at http://www.cityguide.gov.mo/phone/phone_e.asp?cat=6. Highly developed medical facilities and trained personnel are available in Hong Kong, which is about an hour by jetfoil and ten minutes by helicopter from Macau.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877 FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Macau is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic moves on the left in Macau, and roads are narrow and winding. Traffic is generally congested throughout the day. Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive, as are public buses.

For specific information concerning Macau driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Macau Tourist Information Bureau's U.S. representative office at 5757 W. Century Boulevard, Suite 660, Los Angeles, California 90045-6407; tel (310) 568-0009; fax (310) 338-0708), or the Macau Transport Department (Comissariado de Transito de Macau), Ave Sidonio Pais, Macau; tel (853) 374-214; fax (853) 522-966; website http://www.iacm.gov.mo. Visit the website of the country's national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at http://www.iacm.gov.mo.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Macau, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Macau's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances: The official languages in the Macau SAR are Chinese and Portuguese. English, however, is spoken in tourist areas. There are no currency restrictions for tourists in Macau. Although the pataca is the official currency in Macau, Hong Kong currency is commonly used in transactions, especially in tourist areas. Travelers visiting Macau from Hong Kong may wish to bring sufficient Hong Kong dollars to cover their expenses. Credit cards and ATM network debit cards are widely accepted in Macau. Banks and major hotels accept traveler's checks.

Macau customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Macau of items such as firearms, ivory, certain categories of medications, and other goods. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington D.C. or one of the PRC's consulates in the United States at the addresses noted above, or the Macau Customs Service, Rua S. Tiago da Barra, Doca D. Carlos I, SW, Barra-Macau, tel (853) 559-944 or fax (853) 371-136 for specific information regarding customs requirements.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving these products, such as watches, compact discs, computer software and clothing, are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. A current list of those countries with serious problems in this regard can be found at www.ustr.gov/reports/2003/special301.htm.

Under the nationality law of the PRC, persons of Chinese descent who were born in the PRC, including Macau, are PRC citizens. However, under an agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China, all U.S. citizens entering Macau on their U.S. passports, including such persons as may be considered PRC nationals by the PRC authorities, are considered U.S. citizens by the Macau SAR authorities for purposes of ensuring U.S. consular access and protection during their initial legal stay of up to 30 days in Macau.

Dual national residents or former residents of Macau who wish to ensure U.S. consular access and protection after the initial 30-day period of visa-free admission into Macau should declare their U.S. nationality to the Macau Immigration Department upon arrival. Dual-national residents of Macau who enter Macau on travel documents other than their U.S. passports and who desire U.S. consular protection should declare their U.S. nationality as soon as possible after entry. This "declaration of change of nationality" will ensure U.S. consular protection. It will also result in loss of one's PRC nationality (but not necessarily one's right of abode). Whereas failure to declare U.S. nationality may jeopardize U.S. consular protection, such failure will not jeopardize one's U.S. citizenship.

Dual nationals contemplating onward travel into mainland China should be attentive to use of their U.S. passports. Dual nationals who enter or depart mainland China using a U.S. passport and a valid PRC visa retain the right of U.S. consular access and protection under the U.S.PRC Consular Convention.

The ability of the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General to provide normal consular services would be extremely limited should a dual national enter mainland China on a Macau SAR or other non-U.S. passport

In addition to being subject to all Macau SAR laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may be subject to laws of Macau that impose special obligations on Macau citizens. For additional information, see Law and Policy, Citizenship and Nationality on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov for information on dual nationality.

During the storm season (July through September), Macau Observatory (Direccao dos Servicos Meteorologicos e Geofisicos) issues typhoon warnings on an average of six times a year. Macau Observatory has a good notification and monitoring system in place. Please consult Macau Observatory's website at http://www.smg.gov.mo for further information. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Macau's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Macau are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/index.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Macau are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Macau. There is no U.S. diplomatic or consular presence in Macau. Consular assistance for U.S. citizens is provided by the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong; tel (852) 2523-9011 or (852) 2841-2211; fax (852) 2845-4845; e-mail [email protected]; website http://www.hongkong.usconsulate.gov.

International Parental Child Abduction

January 2005

The information below has been edited from the report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Parental Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov

Disclaimer: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements of a specific foreign country is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

General Information: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the "Hague Convention") came into force between the United States and Macau on March 1, 1999. Therefore, Hague Convention provisions for return would apply to children abducted or retained after March 1, 1999. Parents and legal guardians of children taken to Macau prior to March 1, 1999, may still submit applications for access to the child under the Hague Convention in some cases.

Legal Counsel: You will require an attorney to file the Hague application with the court and to represent your interests in hearings on your application. You will usually be required to give evidence as to the circumstances of your child's removal or retention, usually in the form of a sworn statement or affidavit. Under the Convention, Macau is not obligated to pay for or in any way assume any costs resulting from court proceedings. Legal assistance is available. Qualification for assistance is based on economic need. Information regarding qualification for legal assistance may be obtained from the Macau Central Authority office.

Time Frame: Enforcement of a decision for return under the Hague Convention may take several months from the time the application is filed. It is important to remember that the Macau legal system differs from that in the United States. How the court considers the case, and how and when it issues its decision, will vary from region to region as well as from case to case. The Macau courts give Hague Convention matters priority, but scheduling is still dependent on court availability. You should consult your Macau attorney for an assessment of the procedure and anticipated delays in that country.

Appeals: Decisions on Hague applications may be appealed by either party, which may further delay enforcement of a decision. You should consult directly with your Macau attorney regarding appeal procedures.

Criminal Remedies: For information on possible criminal remedies, please contact your local law enforcement authorities or the nearest office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Information is also available on the Internet at the web site of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org. Please note that criminal charges may complicate a Hague Convention case. Contact the country officer in the Office of Children's Issues for specific information.

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