fredag 20. desember 2019

Macau: China's other 'one country, two systems' region

Macau, a tiny former Portuguese colony, is marking the 20th anniversary of its return to China. The Special Administrative Region, which measures 12 sq miles (31 sq km), uses the same political model as Hong Kong - "one country, two systems". That guarantees a "high degree of autonomy" for the regions for 50 years with Beijing maintaining control of defence and foreign affairs. But this is where the similarity between Hong Kong and Macau ends.

For the past six months, there have been large protests in Hong Kong over a now shelved bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China.But while millions have taken to the streets there, the Chinese government has praised Macau's "patriots" for keeping the peace and being a shining example of the one country, two systems model.

At the 20th anniversary celebrations on Friday, Chinese President Xi said Macau's "tradition of valuing unity must be preserved". He also reiterated that China would not "tolerate" any interference in Hong Kong or Macau. "I wish to stress that the handling of [Hong Kong and Macau] affairs is strictly China's internal matter, there is no need for any external force to dictate things to us... we will never tolerate any external interference," said Mr Xi. Mr Xi also swore in the region's new Beijing-backed chief executive, Ho Iat-seng.