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Daily Archives: June 5, 2020
Posted: June 5, 2020 at 2:08 pm
Special administrative region of China
Special administrative region in People's Republic of China
Macau, also spelled Macao (; , Cantonese:[u.mn]; official Portuguese:[mkaw] Macau), and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a city in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. It is a special administrative region of China and maintains separate governing and economic systems from those of mainland China. With a population of 696,100 and an area of 32.9km2 (12.7sqmi), it is the most densely populated region in the world.
Macau was formerly a colony of the Portuguese Empire, after Ming China leased the territory as a trading post in 1557. Portugal paid an annual rent and administered the territory under Chinese sovereignty until 1887, when it gained perpetual colonial rights in the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking. The colony remained under Portuguese rule until 1999, when it was transferred to China.
Originally a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, the territory has become a major resort city and the top destination for gambling tourism. It is the ninth-highest recipient of tourism revenue and its gambling industry is seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. Although the city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it has severe income inequality. Its GDP per capita by purchasing power parity is one of the highest in the world and higher than any country in the world in 2014 according to the World Bank.
Macau has a very high Human Development Index, although it is only calculated by the Macau government instead of the United Nations. Macau has the fourth-highest life expectancy in the world. The territory is highly urbanised and most development is built on reclaimed land; two-thirds of the total land area is reclaimed from the sea.
The first known written record of the name "Macau", rendered as "Ya/A Ma Gang" ("/-/-"), is found in a letter dated 20 November 1555. The local inhabitants believed that the sea-goddess Mazu (alternatively called A-Ma) had blessed and protected the harbour and called the waters around A-Ma Temple using her name. When Portuguese explorers first arrived in the area and asked for the place name, the locals thought they were asking about the temple and told them it was "Ma Kok" (). The earliest Portuguese spelling for this was Amaquo. Multiple variations were used until Amaco / Amacao and Maco / Macao became common during the 17th century. By the 1911 reform of Portuguese orthography, the spelling Macau became the standardised form, however the use of Macao persisted in English and other European languages.
Macau Peninsula had many names in Chinese, including Jing'ao (/), Haojing (), and Haojing'ao (). The islands Taipa, Coloane, and Hengqin were collectively called Shizimen (). These names would later become Aomen (), Oumn in Cantonese and translating as "bay gate" or "port gate", to refer to the whole territory.
During the Qin dynasty (221206 BC), the region was under the jurisdiction of Panyu County, Nanhai Prefecture of the province of Guangdong. The region is first known to have been settled during the Han dynasty. It was administratively part of Dongguan Prefecture in the Jin dynasty (265420 AD), and alternated under the control of Nanhai and Dongguan in later dynasties. In 1152, during the Song dynasty (9601279 AD), it was under the jurisdiction of the new Xiangshan County. In 1277, approximately 50,000 refugees fleeing the Mongol conquest of China settled in the coastal area.
Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century. The first European visitor to reach China by sea was the explorer Jorge lvares, who arrived in 1513. Merchants first established a trading post in Hong Kong waters at Tamo (present-day Tuen Mun), beginning regular trade with nearby settlements in southern China. Military clashes between the Ming and Portuguese navies followed the expulsion of the Tamo traders in 1521. Despite the trade ban, Portuguese merchants continued to attempt settling on other parts of the Pearl River estuary, finally settling on Macau. Luso-Chinese trade relations were formally reestablished in 1554 and Portugal soon after acquired a permanent lease for Macau in 1557, agreeing to pay 500 taels of silver as annual land rent.
The initially small population of Portuguese merchants rapidly became a growing city. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau was created in 1576, and by 1583, the Senate had been established to handle municipal affairs for the growing settlement. Macau was at the peak of its prosperity as a major entrept during the late 16th century, providing a crucial connection in exporting Chinese silk to Japan during the Nanban trade period. Although the Portuguese were initially prohibited from fortifying Macau or stockpiling weapons, the Fortaleza do Monte was constructed in response to frequent Dutch naval incursions. The Dutch attempted to take the city in the 1622 Battle of Macau, but were repelled successfully by the Portuguese. Macau entered a period of decline in the 1640s following a series of catastrophic events for the burgeoning colony: Portuguese access to trade routes was irreparably severed when Japan halted trade in 1639, Portugal revolted against Spain in 1640, and Malacca fell to the Dutch in 1641.
Maritime trade with China was banned in 1644 following the Qing conquest under the Haijin policies and limited only to Macau on a lesser scale while the new dynasty focused on eliminating surviving Ming loyalists. While the Kangxi Emperor lifted the prohibition in 1684, China again restricted trade under the Canton System in 1757. Foreign ships were required to first stop at Macau before further proceeding to Canton. Qing authorities exercised a much greater role in governing the territory during this period; Chinese residents were subject to Qing courts and new construction had to be approved by the resident mandarin beginning in the 1740s. As the opium trade became more lucrative during the eighteenth century, Macau again became an important stopping point en route to China.
Following the First Opium War and establishment of Hong Kong, Macau lost its role as a major port. Firecracker and incense production, as well as tea and tobacco processing, were vital industries in the colony during this time. Portugal was able to capitalise on China's post-war weakness and assert its sovereignty; the Governor of Macau began refusing to pay China annual land rent for the colony in the 1840s, and annexed Taipa and Coloane, in 1851 and 1864 respectively. Portugal also occupied nearby Lapa and Montanha, but these would be returned to China by 1887, when perpetual occupation rights over Macau were formalised in the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking. This agreement also prohibited Portugal from ceding Macau without Chinese approval. Despite occasional conflict between Cantonese authorities and the colonial government, Macau's status remained unchanged through the republican revolutions of both Portugal in 1910 and China in 1911. The Kuomintang further affirmed Portuguese jurisdiction in Macau when the Treaty of Peking was renegotiated in 1928.
During the Second World War, the Empire of Japan did not occupy the colony and generally respected Portuguese neutrality in Macau. However, after Japanese troops captured a British cargo ship in Macau waters in 1943, Japan installed a group of government "advisors" as an alternative to military occupation. The territory largely avoided military action during the war except in 1945, when the United States ordered air raids on Macau after learning that the colonial government was preparing to sell aviation fuel to Japan. Portugal was later given over US$20million in compensation for the damage in 1950.
Refugees from mainland China swelled the population as they fled from the Chinese Civil War. Access to a large workforce enabled Macau's economy to grow as the colony expanded its clothing and textiles manufacturing industry, developed tourism, and legalised casino gaming. However, at the height of the Cultural Revolution, residents dissatisfied with the colonial administration rioted in the 1966 12-3 incident, in which 8 people were killed and over 200 were injured. Portugal lost full control over the colony afterwards, and agreed to cooperate with the communist authorities in exchange for continued administration of Macau.
Following the 1974 Carnation Revolution, Portugal formally relinquished Macau as an overseas province and acknowledged it as a "Chinese territory under Portuguese administration". After China first concluded arrangements on Hong Kong's future with the United Kingdom, it entered negotiations with Portugal over Macau in 1986. They were concluded with the signing of the 1987 Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau, in which Portugal agreed to transfer the colony in 1999 and China would guarantee Macau's political and economic systems for 50 years after the transfer. In the waning years of colonial rule, Macau rapidly urbanised and constructed large-scale infrastructure projects, including Macau International Airport and a new container port. Macau was transferred to China on 20 December 1999, after 442 years of Portuguese rule.
Following the transfer, Macau liberalised its casino industry (previously operating under a government-licensed monopoly) to allow foreign investors, starting a new period of economic development. The regional economy grew by a double-digit annual growth rate from 2002 to 2014, making Macau one of the richest economies in the world on a per capita basis. Political debates have centred on the region's jurisdictional independence and the central government's adherence of "one country, two systems". While issues such as national security legislation have been controversial, Macanese residents generally have high levels of trust in the government.
Macao is the last Portuguese colony to gain independence and the only one which is not member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Portuguese is one of the official languages of Macao. In 2006, during the II Ministerial meeting between China and Portuguese Speaking Countries, the CPLP Executive Secretary and Deputy ambassador Tadeu Soares invited the Chief Executive of the Government of the Macau Special Administrative Region, Edmund Ho, to request the Associate Observer status for Macau. The Government of Macau has not yet formalized this request. In 2016, Murade Murargy, then executive secretary of CPLP said in an interview that Macao's membership is a complicated question, since like the Galicia region in Spain, it is not an independent country, but only a part of China. But the Instituto Internacional de Macau and the University of So Jos are Consultative Observers of CPLP.
Macau is a special administrative region of China, with executive, legislative, and judicial powers devolved from the national government. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration provided for economic and administrative continuity through the transfer of sovereignty, resulting in an executive-led governing system largely inherited from the territory's history as a Portuguese colony. Under these terms and the "one country, two systems" principle, the Basic Law of Macao is the regional constitution. Because negotiations for the Joint Declaration and Basic Law began after transitional arrangements for Hong Kong were made, Macau's structure of government is very similar to Hong Kong's.
The regional government is composed of three branches:
The Chief Executive is the head of government, and serves for a maximum of two five-year terms. The State Council (led by the Premier of China) appoints the Chief Executive after nomination by the Election Committee, which is composed of 400 business, community, and government leaders.
The Legislative Assembly has 33 members, each serving a four-year term: 14 are directly elected, 12 indirectly elected, and 7 appointed by the Chief Executive. Indirectly elected assemblymen are selected from limited electorates representing sectors of the economy or special interest groups. All directly elected members are chosen with proportional representation.
Twelve political parties had representatives elected to the Legislative Assembly in the 2017 election. These parties have aligned themselves into two ideological groups: the pro-establishment (the current government) and pro-democracy camps. Macau is represented in the National People's Congress by 12 deputies chosen through an electoral college, and 29 delegates in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference appointed by the central government.
Chinese national law does not generally apply in the region, and Macau is treated as a separate jurisdiction. Its judicial system is based on Portuguese civil law, continuing the legal tradition established during colonial rule. Interpretative and amending power over the Basic Law and jurisdiction over acts of state lie with the central authority, however, making regional courts ultimately subordinate to the mainland's socialist civil law system. Decisions made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress can also override territorial judicial processes.
The territory's jurisdictional independence is most apparent in its immigration and taxation policies. The Identification Department issues passports for permanent residents which differ from those issued by the mainland or Hong Kong, and the region maintains a regulated border with the rest of the country. All travellers between Macau and China and Hong Kong must pass border controls, regardless of nationality. Chinese citizens resident in mainland China do not have the right of abode in Macau and are subject to immigration controls. Public finances are handled separately from the national government, and taxes levied in Macau do not fund the central authority.
The Macao Garrison is responsible for the region's defence. Although the Chairman of the Central Military Commission is supreme commander of the armed forces, the regional government may request assistance from the garrison. Macau residents are not required to perform military service and current law also has no provision for local enlistment, so its defence force is composed entirely of nonresidents.
The State Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handle diplomatic matters, but Macau retains the ability to maintain separate economic and cultural relations with foreign nations. The territory negotiates its own trade agreements and actively participates in supranational organisations, including agencies of the World Trade Organization and United Nations. The regional government maintains trade offices in Greater China and other nations.
The territory is divided into seven parishes. Cotai, a major area developed on reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane, and areas of the Macau New Urban Zone do not have defined parishes. Historically, the parishes belonged to one of two municipalities (the Municipality of Macau or the Municipality of Ilhas) that were responsible for administering municipal services. The municipalities were abolished in 2001 and superseded by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau in providing local services.
Sex trafficking in Macau is an issue. Macau and foreign women and girls are forced into prostitution in brothels, homes, and businesses in the city.
Macau is on China's southern coast, 60km (37mi) west of Hong Kong, on the western side of the Pearl River estuary. It is surrounded by the South China Sea in the east and south, and neighbours the Guangdong city of Zhuhai to the west and north. The territory consists of Macau Peninsula, Taipa, and Coloane. A 1km2 (0.39sqmi) parcel of land in neighbouring Hengqin island that hosts the University of Macau also falls under the regional government's jurisdiction. The territory's highest point is Coloane Alto, 170.6 metres (560ft) above sea level.
Urban development is concentrated on peninsular Macau, where most of the population lives. The peninsula was originally a separate island with hilly terrain, which gradually became a tombolo as a connecting sandbar formed over time. Both natural sedimentation and land reclamation expanded the area enough to support urban growth. Macau has tripled its land area in the last century, increasing from 10.28km2 (3.97sqmi) in the late 19th century to 32.9km2 (12.7sqmi) in 2018.
Cotai, the area of reclaimed land connecting Taipa and Coloane, contains many of the newer casinos and resorts established after 1999. The region's jurisdiction over the surrounding sea was greatly expanded in 2015, when it was granted an additional 85km2 (33sqmi) of maritime territory by the State Council. Further reclamation is currently underway to develop parts of the Macau New Urban Zone. The territory also has control over part of an artificial island to maintain a border checkpoint for the Hong KongZhuhaiMacau Bridge.
Macau has a humid subtropical climate (Kppen Cwa), characteristic of southern China. The territory is dual season dominant summer (May to September) and winter (November to February) are the longest seasons, while spring (March and April) and autumn (October) are relatively brief periods. The summer monsoon brings warm and humid air from the sea, with the most frequent rainfall occurring during the season. Typhoons also occur most often then, bringing significant spikes in rainfall. During the winter, northern winds from the continent bring dry air and much less rainfall. The highest and lowest temperatures recorded at the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau are 38.9C (102.0F) on both 2 July 1930 and 6 July 1930 and 1.8C (28.8F) on 26 January 1948.
The Statistics and Census Service estimated Macau's population at 667,400 at the end of 2018. With a population density of 21,340 people per square kilometre, Macau is the most densely populated region in the world. The overwhelming majority (88.7 per cent) are Chinese, many of whom originate from Guangdong (31.9 per cent) or Fujian (5.9 per cent). The remaining 11.6 per cent are non-ethnic Chinese minorities, primarily Filipinos (4.6 per cent), Vietnamese (2.4 per cent), and Portuguese (1.8 per cent). Several thousand residents are of Macanese heritage, native-born multiracial people with mixed Portuguese ancestry. Of the total population (excluding migrants), 49.4 per cent were born in Macau, followed by 43.1 per cent in Mainland China. A large portion of the population are Portuguese citizens, a legacy of colonial rule; at the time of the transfer of sovereignty in 1999, 107,000 residents held Portuguese passports.
The predominant language is Cantonese, a variety of Chinese originating in Guangdong. It is spoken by 87.5 per cent of the population, 80.1 per cent as a first language and 7.5 per cent as a second language. Only 2.3 per cent can speak Portuguese, the other official language; 0.7 per cent are native speakers, and 1.6 per cent use it as a second language. Increased immigration from mainland China in recent years has added to the number of Mandarin speakers, making up about half of the population (50.4 per cent); 5.5 per cent are native speakers and 44.9 per cent are second language speakers. Traditional Chinese characters are used in writing, rather than the simplified characters used on the mainland. English is considered an additional working language and is spoken by over a quarter of the population (27.5 per cent); 2.8 per cent are native speakers, and 24.7 per cent speak English as a second language. Macanese Patois, a local creole generally known as Patu, is now spoken only by a few in the older Macanese community.
Chinese folk religions have the most adherents (58.9 per cent) and are followed by Buddhism (17.3 per cent) and Christianity (7.2 per cent), while 15.4 per cent of the population profess no religious affiliation at all. Small minorities adhering to other religions (less than 1 per cent), including Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam, are also resident in Macau.
Life expectancy in Macau was 81.6 years for males and 87.7 years for females in 2018, the fourth highest in the world. Cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease are the territory's three leading causes of death. Most government-provided healthcare services are free of charge, though alternative treatment is also heavily subsidised.
Migrant workers living in Macau account for over 25 per cent of the entire workforce. They largely work in lower wage sectors of the economy, including construction, hotels, and restaurants. As a growing proportion of local residents take up employment in the gaming industry, the disparity in income between local and migrant workers has been increasing. Rising living costs have also pushed a large portion of non-resident workers to live in Zhuhai.
Casinos on the Macanese skyline
Tourism plays an important role in the economy of Macau, the people from Mainland China being the region's most prolific tourists.
Macau has a capitalist service economy largely based on casino gaming and tourism. It is the world's 83rd-largest economy, with a nominal GDP of approximately MOP433billion (US$53.9billion). Although Macau has one of the highest per capita GDPs, the territory also has a high level of wealth disparity. Macau's gaming industry is the largest in the world, generating over MOP195billion (US$24billion) in revenue and about seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. Macau's gambling revenue was $37billion in 2018.
The regional economy is heavily reliant on casino gaming. The vast majority of government funding (79.6 per cent of total tax revenue) comes from gaming. Gambling as a share of GDP peaked in 2013 at over 60 per cent, and continues to account for 49.1 per cent of total economic output. The vast majority of casino patrons are tourists from mainland China, making up 68 per cent of all visitors. Casino gaming is illegal in both the mainland and Hong Kong, giving Macau a legal monopoly on the industry in China. Revenue from Chinese high rollers has been falling and was forecast to fall as much as 10% more in 2019. Economic uncertainty may account for some of the drop, but alternate Asian gambling venues do as well. For example, Chinese visitors to the Philippines more than doubled between 2015 and 2018, since the City of Dreams casino opened in Manila.
Casino gambling was legalised in 1962 and the gaming industry initially operated under a government-licensed monopoly granted to the Sociedade de Turismo e Diverses de Macau. This license was renegotiated and renewed several times before ending in 2002 after 40 years. The government then allowed open bidding for casino licenses to attract foreign investors. Along with an easing of travel restrictions on mainland Chinese visitors, this triggered a period of rapid economic growth; from 1999 to 2016, Macau's gross domestic product multiplied by 7 and the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3 to 1.9 per cent. The Sands Macao, Wynn Macau, MGM Macau, and Venetian Macau were all opened during the first decade after liberalisation of casino concessions. Casinos employ about 24 per cent of the total workforce in the region. "Increased competition from casinos popping up across Asia to lure away Chinese high rollers and tourists" in Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, Australia, Vietnam and the Russian Far east led in 2019 to the lowest revenues in three years.
Export-oriented manufacturing previously contributed to a much larger share of economic output, peaking at 36.9 per cent of GDP in 1985 and falling to less than 1 per cent in 2017. The bulk of these exports were cotton textiles and apparel, but also included toys and electronics. At the transfer of sovereignty in 1999, manufacturing, financial services, construction and real estate, and gaming were the four largest sectors of the economy. Macau's shift to an economic model entirely dependent on gaming caused concern over its overexposure to a single sector, prompting the regional government to attempt re-diversifying its economy.
The government traditionally had a non-interventionist role in the economy and taxes corporations at very low rates. Post-handover administrations have generally been more involved in enhancing social welfare to counter the cyclical nature of the gaming industry. Economic growth has been attributed in large part to the high number of mainlander visits to Macau, and the central government exercises a role in guiding casino business growth through its control of the flow of tourists. The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement formalised a policy of free trade between Macau and mainland China, with each jurisdiction pledging to remove remaining obstacles to trade and cross-boundary investment.
Due to a lack of available land for farming, agriculture is not significant in the economy. Food is exclusively imported to Macau and almost all foreign goods are transshipped through Hong Kong.
Macau has a highly developed road system, with over 400km (250mi) of road constructed in the territory. Automobiles drive on the left (unlike in both mainland China and Portugal), due to historical influence of the Portuguese Empire. Vehicle traffic is extremely congested, especially within the oldest part of the city, where streets are the most narrow. Public bus services operate over 80 routes, supplemented by free hotel shuttle buses that also run routes to popular tourist attractions and downtown locations. About 1,500 black taxicabs are licensed to carry riders in the territory. The Hong KongZhuhaiMacau Bridge, opened in 2018, provides a direct link with the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary. Cross-boundary traffic to mainland China may also pass through border checkpoints at the Portas do Cerco and Ltus Bridge.
Macau International Airport serves over 8 million passengers each year and is the primary hub for local flag carrier Air Macau. The territory's first rail network, the Macau Light Rapid Transit, is currently under construction. Phase 1 of the Taipa line had begun operations in December 2019, the Taipa line will connect 11 metro stations throughout Taipa and Cotai. Ferry services to Hong Kong and mainland China operate out of Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, Inner Harbour Ferry Terminal, and Taipa Ferry Terminal. Daily helicopter service is also available to Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
The Macau Light Rapid Transit (MLRT) also known in Portuguese as Metro Ligeiro de Macau (MLM) is a mass transit system in Macau. It serves the Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Cotai, serving major border checkpoints such as the Border Gate, the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, the Lotus Bridge Border and the Macau International Airport.
Macau is served by one major public hospital, the Hospital Conde S. Janurio, and one major private hospital, the Kiang Wu Hospital, both located in Macau Peninsula, as well as a university associated hospital called Macau University of Science and Technology Hospital in Cotai. In addition to hospitals, Macau also has numerous health centres providing free basic medical care to residents. Consultation in traditional Chinese medicine is also available.
None of the Macau hospitals are independently assessed through international healthcare accreditation. There are no western-style medical schools in Macau, and thus all aspiring physicians in Macau have to obtain their education and qualification elsewhere. Local nurses are trained at the Macau Polytechnic Institute and the Kiang Wu Nursing College. Currently there are no training courses in midwifery in Macau. A study by the University of Macau, commissioned by the Macau SAR government, concluded that Macau is too small to have its own medical specialist training centre.
The Macau Corps of Firefighters (Portuguese: Corpo de Bombeiros de Macau) is responsible for ambulance service (Ambulncia de Macau). The Macau Red Cross also operates ambulances (Toyota HiAce vans) for emergency and non-emergencies to local hospitals with volunteer staff. The organization has a total of 739 uniformed firefighters and paramedics serving from 7 stations in Macau.
The Health Bureau in Macau is mainly responsible for coordinating the activities between the public and private organizations in the area of public health, and assure the health of citizens through specialized and primary health care services, as well as disease prevention and health promotion. The Macau Centre for Disease Control and Prevention was established in 2001, which monitors the operation of hospitals, health centres, and the blood transfusion centre in Macau. It also handles the organization of care and prevention of diseases affecting the population, sets guidelines for hospitals and private healthcare providers, and issues licences.
As of 2016[update] Macau healthcare authorities send patients to Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong in instances where the local Macau hospitals are not equipped to deal with their scenarios, and many Macau residents intentionally seek healthcare in Hong Kong because they place more trust in Hong Kong doctors than in Mainland-trained doctors operating in Macau.
Education in Macau does not have a single centralised set of standards or curriculum. Individual schools follow different educational models, including Chinese, Portuguese, Hong Kong, and British systems. Children are required to attend school from the age of five until completion of lower secondary school, or at age 15. Of residents aged 3 and older, 69 per cent completed lower secondary education, 49 per cent graduated from an upper secondary school, 21 per cent earned a bachelor's degree or higher. Mandatory education has contributed to an adult literacy rate of 96.5 per cent. While lower than that of other developed economies, the rate is due to the influx of refugees from mainland China during the post-war colonial era. Much of the elderly population were not formally educated due to war and poverty.
Most schools in the territory are private institutions. Out of the 77 non-tertiary schools, 10 are public and the other 67 are privately run. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau maintains an important position in territorial education, managing 27 primary and secondary schools. The government provides 15 years of free education for all residents enrolled in publicly run schools, and subsidises tuition for students in private schools. Students at the secondary school level studying in neighbouring areas of Guangdong are also eligible for tuition subsidies.
The vast majority of schools use Cantonese as the medium of instruction, with written education in Chinese and compulsory classes in Mandarin. A minority of private schools use English or Portuguese as the primary teaching language. Luso-Chinese schools mainly use Chinese, but additionally require mandatory Portuguese-language classes as part of their curriculum.
Macau has ten universities and tertiary education institutes. The University of Macau, founded in 1981, is the territory's only public comprehensive university. The Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau is the oldest higher institute, specialising in educating future nursing staff for the college's parent hospital. The University of Saint Joseph, Macau University of Science and Technology, and the City University of Macau were all established in subsequent years. Five other institutes specialise in specific vocations or provide continuing education.
The mixing of the Chinese and Portuguese cultures and religious traditions for more than four centuries has left Macau with an inimitable collection of holidays, festivals and events. The biggest event of the year is the Macau Grand Prix in November, when the main streets in Macau Peninsula are converted to a racetrack bearing similarities with the Monaco Grand Prix. Other annual events include Macau Arts festival in March, the International Fireworks Display Contest in September, the International Music festival in October and/or November, and the Macau International Marathon in December.
The Lunar Chinese New Year is the most important traditional festival and celebration normally takes place in late January or early February. The Pou Tai Un Temple in Taipa is the place for the Feast of Tou Tei, the Earth god, in February. The Procession of the Passion of Our Lord is a well-known Roman Catholic rite and journey, which travels from Saint Austin's Church to the Cathedral, also taking place in February.
A-Ma Temple, which honours the Goddess Matsu, is in full swing in April with many worshippers celebrating the A-Ma festival. In May it is common to see dancing dragons at the Feast of the Drunken Dragon and twinkling-clean Buddhas at the Feast of the Bathing of Lord Buddha. In Coloane Village, the Taoist god Tam Kong is also honoured on the same day. Dragon Boat Festival is brought into play on Nam Van Lake in June and Hungry Ghosts' festival, in late August and/or early September every year. All events and festivities of the year end with Winter Solstice in December.
Macau preserves many historical properties in the urban area. The Historic Centre of Macau, which includes some twenty-five historic locations, was officially listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 15 July 2005 during the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Durban, South Africa.However, the Macao government is criticized for ignoring the conservation of heritage in urban planning. In 2007, local residents of Macao wrote a letter to UNESCO complaining about construction projects around world heritage Guia Lighthouse (Focal height 108 meters), including the headquarter of the Liaison Office (91 meters). UNESCO then issued a warning to the Macau government, which led former Chief Executive Edmund Ho to sign a notice regulating height restrictions on buildings around the site. In 2015, the New Macau Association submitted a report to UNESCO claiming that the government had failed to protect Macao's cultural heritage against threats by urban development projects. One of the main examples of the report is that the headquarter of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government, which is located on the Guia foothill and obstructs the view of the Guia Fortress (one of the world heritages symbols of Macao). One year later, Roni Amelan, a spokesman from UNESCO Press service, said that the UNESCO has asked China for information and is still waiting for a reply. In 2016, the Macau government approved an 81-meter construction limit for the residential project, which reportedly goes against the city's regulations on the height of buildings around world heritage site Guia Lighthouse.
Food in Macau is mainly based on both Cantonese and Portuguese cuisine, drawing influences from Indian and Malay dishes as well, reflecting a unique cultural and culinary blend after centuries of colonial rule. Portuguese recipes were adapted to use local ingredients, such as fresh seafood, turmeric, coconut milk, and adzuki beans. These adaptations produced Macanese variations of traditional Portuguese dishes including caldo verde, minchee, and cozido portuguesa. While many restaurants claim to serve traditional Portuguese or Macanese dishes, most serve a mix of Cantonese-Portuguese fusion cuisine. Galinha portuguesa is an example of a Chinese dish that draws from Macanese influences, but is not part of Macanese cuisine. Cha chaan teng, a type of fast casual diner originating in Hong Kong that serves that region's interpretation of Western food, are also prevalent in Macau. Pastel de nata, pork chop buns, and almond biscuits are popular street food items.
Despite its small area, Macau is home to a variety of sports and recreational facilities that have hosted a number of major international sporting events, including the 2005 East Asian Games, the 2006 Lusophony Games, and the 2007 Asian Indoor Games.
The territory regularly hosts the Macau Grand Prix, one of the most significant annual motorsport competitions that uses city streets as the racetrack. It is the only street circuit that hosts Formula Three, touring car, and motorcycle races in the same event. The Guia Circuit, with narrow corner clearance and a winding path, is considered an extremely challenging course and a serious milestone for prospective Formula One racers.
Macau represents itself separately from mainland China with its own sports teams in international competitions. The territory maintains its own National Olympic Committee, but does not compete in the Olympic Games. Current International Olympic Committee rules specify that new NOCs can only be admitted if they represent sovereign states (Hong Kong has participated in the Olympics since before the regulation change in 1996).
Macau has six sister cities, listed chronologically by year joined:
Additionally, Macau has other cultural agreements with the following cities:
Macau is part of the Union of Luso-Afro-Americo-Asiatic Capital Cities from 28 June 1985, establishing brotherly relations with the following cities:
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Coordinates: 2210N 11333E / 22.167N 113.550E / 22.167; 113.550
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Macau, special administrative region (Pinyin: tebie xingzhengqu; Wade-Giles romanization: te-pieh hsing-cheng-ch) of China, on the countrys southern coast. Macau is located on the southwestern corner of the Pearl (Zhu) River (Chu Chiang) estuary (at the head of which is the port of Guangzhou [Canton]) and stands opposite the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which is some 40 miles (60 km) away on the eastern side of the estuary.
Official Languages: Fact or Fiction?
Spanish and English are Puerto Ricos official languages.
Macau comprises a small narrow peninsula projecting from the mainland province of Guangdong and includes an area comprising the islands of Taipa and Coloane, which are joined by an expanse of land that was reclaimed from the sea and is known as Cotai. Extending up a hillside is the city of Macau, which occupies almost the entire peninsula. The name Macau, or Macao (Pinyin: Aomen; Wade-Giles romanization: Ao-men), is derived from the Chinese Ama-gao, or Bay of Ama, for Ama, the patron goddess of sailors.
Macau Peninsula is connected to the island area by bridges. Both the peninsula and the island area consist of small granite hills surrounded by limited areas of flatland. The original natural vegetation was evergreen tropical forest before the hills were stripped for firewood and construction. No part of Macau reaches any great elevation; the highest point, 565 feet (172 metres), is at Coloane Peak (Coloane Alto) on Coloane. There are no permanent rivers, and water is either collected during rains or piped in from the mainland.
Macau lies just within the tropics, and it has a monsoonal (wet-dry) climate. Four-fifths of its total average annual rainfall of 83 inches (2,120 mm) falls within the summer rainy season (AprilSeptember), when the southwest monsoon blows. Temperatures reach 84 F (29 C) in the summer and fall to 59 F (15 C) in winter. Besides being rainy, the summer months are also hot, humid, and unpleasant. Winters, on the other hand, are somewhat cooler and less humid and can be delightful.
Nearly all of the population, of which a great majority lives on Macau Peninsula, is ethnic Chinese, born on either the mainland or Macau. There are also small groups of other Asians (including people of mixed Chinese and Portuguese ancestry, often called Macanese). However, the once-significant Portuguese minority has been reduced to only a small proportion of the population. Of the ethnic Chinese, the vast majority are Cantonese speakers, and a few speak Hakka. Chinese (Cantonese) and Portuguese are both official languages; English is also commonly spoken.
Macaus population is overwhelmingly Buddhist, while others adhere to Daoism and Confucianism or combinations of the three. Among the small number of Christians, the great majority are Roman Catholics. About one-sixth of the population professes no religious affiliation.
Macau is one of the most densely populated places in the world, and the entire population is classed as urban. Macau has a relatively older population, with less than one-fourth being younger than age 25.
The service sector dominates the economy, employing about three-fourths of the total labour force. There are few natural resources, an exception being fish in the Pearl River estuary, which are used for local needs. Agriculture is minimal; small quantities of vegetables are grown, and there is some poultry raising (chickens and eggs).
Macau is a free port, and trade is vital. The mainland is of major importance as a supplier of food and inexpensive consumer goods, and a 2004 agreement with China that eliminated tariffs on many of Macaus goods helped increase exports to the mainland. Much of Macaus imports consist of raw materials or semifinished goods for manufacturing purposes. Other imports include machinery and apparatuses, and imported petroleum provides most of the power for domestic electric generation. However, some two-thirds of Macaus power requirements must be imported from Guangdong. Apparel and textile fabrics are the primary exports, and reexports constitute a small but significant proportion of the total value of exports. China is Macaus principal trading partner; trade with the United States and Hong Kong is also significant. In 1991 Macau became a member of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, now the World Trade Organization.
In 1989 the Monetary and Foreign Exchange Authority of Macau replaced the Instituto Emissor de Macau as regulator of the currency, the Macau pataca, which is pegged to the Hong Kong dollar. Commercial and foreign banks, as well as banks of issue and a banking association, constitute Macaus banking and financial system. Since the mid-1990s the government has made efforts to attract foreign investors and thus diversify the economy away from its heavy reliance on tourism.
Nonetheless, tourism and gambling are the most important components of Macaus overall economy, and the region in effect serves as the playground of nearby Hong Kong and, increasingly, the Chinese mainland. High-speed hydrofoils, as well as some traditional but slower river ferries, carry tourists from Hong Kong and Shenzhen (just north of Hong Kong) to Macaus numerous gambling casinos, bars, hotels, and other attractions. Internal transport is good, and there are local ferries between the peninsula and the islands. Following the December 1999 transfer of administrative status from Portugal to China, Macau remained a free and open port. An international airport became operational in Macau in 1995.
Before it became a special administrative region of China in 1999, Macau followed the colonial constitution promulgated in 1976; it was administered by a governor, who in agreement with the Legislative Assembly was appointed by the Portuguese president. With the transfer of sovereignty over the territory to China, the Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region, which outlined a policy of one country, two systems, went into effect. For a period of 50 years, Macau will thus retain its capitalist economy and some political autonomy, but foreign policy and defense matters will remain under Chinese administration.
According to the Basic Law, the chief executive, who serves a five-year term, holds executive authority but is under the jurisdiction of the central government in Beijing. An election committee of 300 members, who serve five-year terms, selects the chief executive, who can serve up to two consecutive five-year terms. The chief executive appoints an executive council, which consists of 7 to 11 members, to assist in policy making. The legislature is a single-chamber Legislative Assembly, headed by an elected president and vice president; the assembly has 33 members, who serve four-year terms and are selected by a combination of direct popular election (14), indirect election by a committee of special-interest groups (12), and appointment by the chief executive (7).
Law is based on the Portuguese system. The judicial system was completely administered from Portugal until 1993, when a high court of justice was established in Macau. A new penal code was authorized in 1996 in response to a rise in crime. The Basic Law states that the judicial system remains intact with the transfer of sovereignty and that all judges are appointed by the chief executive. The highest court is the Court of Final Appeal, headed by a chief justice. There are also lower primary courts, intermediate courts, and administrative courts. Macau has a small security force, but defense is the responsibility of the central government in Beijing.
Primary and secondary education in Macau is overwhelmingly at private schools, although the great majority of these schools receive government subsidies. Five years of primary education are officially compulsory, and education is free for children from age 6 to 15. Most receive instruction in Chinese (Cantonese), while the remainder are taught in either English or Portuguese. The University of Macau, formerly the University of East Asia, opened in the early 1990s. In the early 2000s plans were made to move the university from its location on Taipa Island to a parcel of land on Chinas Hengqin Island. An agreement for jurisdiction of the land to be transferred to Macau was reached in 2009 as part of a 40-year lease from China. The new campus was inaugurated in 2013, and relocation was completed in 2014. Literacy is now nearly universal in Macau; a slightly larger proportion of males than females is literate.
There are medical centres and hospitals in Macau, and traditional Chinese medicine is also practiced. The elderly receive medications free of charge. The average life expectancy is about 80 years, and the birth and infant mortality rates are both low. The government has constructed low-income housing units, and the private sector has introduced social housing with controlled prices.
Chinese culture predominates, overlaid by a veneer of Portuguese architecture (notably churches and cathedrals) and customs. Chinese temples and shrines coexist with restored villas from the colonial period. Barrier Gate, which links Macau Peninsula to the mainland, is a popular spot for tourists, as are such early 17th-century structures as Monte Fort and the nearby ruined facade of St. Pauls Cathedral (destroyed 1835). The historic buildings on the peninsula collectively were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005.
As is the case in Hong Kong, Cantonese pop (canto-pop) is a popular form of music. Spectator sports include both dog and horse racing. The Macau Grand Prix attracts numerous international competitors and fans of motor racing. Macaus major sports complexes include the Macau Olympic Complex and the Macau East Asian Games Dome; the latter was built for the 2005 East Asian Games, hosted by Macau. Football (soccer), track and field, volleyball, and roller hockey are popular team and individual sports. In the 1990s Macau hosted several roller hockey world championships.
The former Lus de Cames Museum, named for the Portuguese poet and writer of the epic Os Lusadas, was in a 17th-century house that once was used by the British East India Company; its collections are now part of the Macau Museum of Art and feature Chinese pottery, paintings, and artifacts. Adjacent to the art museum is the Macau Cultural Centre, with several performance and exhibition venues. Also of note is the Macau Museum in the Monte Fort compound, which has exhibits on the history of the region.
Local radio stations in Macau (one state-run) and a state-run television station broadcast programs in Chinese (Cantonese) and Portuguese. In addition, cable and satellite television broadcasting is available, and television and radio broadcasts also come from Hong Kong. Several daily newspapers are circulated; most are published in Chinese, but a handful are in Portuguese and English. Internet use is widespread, and mobile telephone usage is ubiquitous.
The first Portuguese ship anchored in the Pearl River estuary in 1513, and further Portuguese visits followed regularly. Trade with China commenced in 1553. Four years later Portuguese paying tribute to China settled in Macau, which became the official and principal entrept for all international trade with China and Japan and an intermediary port for ships traveling from Lisbon to Nagasaki (at the time, Japans only outport for trade). China, nonetheless, still refused to recognize Portuguese sovereignty over the territory. The first governor was appointed in the 17th century, but the Portuguese remained largely under the control of the Chinese. Missionaries carried over on Portuguese ships transformed Macau into an East Asian centre of Christianity. Even though Chinas trade with the outside world was gradually centralized in Guangzhou (Canton) toward the end of the 18th century, merchants were allowed into Guangzhou only during the trading seasonfrom November to Mayand the international merchant community established itself at Macau. By the mid-19th century the British colony of Hong Kong had surpassed Macau in trade, and within a few years the merchants had largely deserted the Portuguese possession, which never again was a major entrept.
In the 1930s and 40s Macau, declared a neutral territory during the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, became a refuge for both Chinese and Europeans. The Chinese population in the territory continued to grow when the communist government assumed power in China in 1949. In 1951 Portugal officially made Macau an overseas province. Following a military coup in Portugal in 1974, the government allotted more administrative autonomy and economic independence to the territory. The constitution promulgated in 1976 established the Legislative Assembly, which was dominated by the minority Portuguese. Until diplomatic relations were solidified between Portugal and the communist government in China in 1979, discussions on transferring Macau to Chinese control were fruitless.
In March 1984 the Portuguese governor dissolved the assembly in response to opposition within the government to extend the right to vote to the Chinese majority. A few months later new elections, which included Chinese suffrage, finally brought a significant number of Chinese deputies into the government. In April 1987 Portugal and China reached an agreement to return Macau to Chinese rule in 1999, using the Hong Kong Joint Declaration between Britain and China as a model. They agreed to provisions under the Basic Law that would ensure the autonomy of Macau for 50 years after the start of Chinese rule. These included Macaus right to elect local leaders, the right of its residents to travel freely, and the right to maintain its way of life, both economically and socially. Defense and foreign policy matters were to be administered by China, and those living in Macau without Portuguese passports would become Chinese citizens. Elections continued to turn out record numbers of voters and a Chinese majority legislature. On December 20, 1999, Macau became a special administrative region under Chinese sovereignty, as Hong Kong had in 1997.
The period since reunification has been peaceful and marked by increasing prosperity. Much of the regions economic growth has come from the tremendous expansion in gambling and gaming since 2000, which transformed Macau into one of the worlds largest gambling centres (in terms of revenue). Tourism also has risen sharply from levels in the 1990s. Major infrastructure projects have included continued land reclamation throughout the region and a third bridge (opened 2005) between Macau Peninsula and Taipa Island. The political situation has been stable, with orderly legislative elections. Ho Hau Wah (Edmund Ho) was named Macaus first chief executive at reunification in 1999; he was reelected to a second term in 2004. In 2009 Chui Sai On was elected president, succeeding Hau. By the mid-2010s his administration was facing a sharp decline in gaming revenues.
Posted: at 2:08 pm
First, they banned a photographic exhibition, then they banned a June 4 vigil about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Neither had ever been forbidden since 1990.
Last Friday was the Macau Court of Final Appeals (CFA) opportunity to show that the police decision may have been politicised, but the court applied the law: that separation of powers, rule of law and fundamental rights are taken seriously in Macau. Sadly, the CFA upheld the police ban.
Within its more than 30 pages of the CFA ruling on an appeal against the banning of the June 4 vigil (Chinese and Portuguese), you will not find the word Tiananmen or reference to the June 4, 1989 affair. Not once. Neither will you find the appellants reasoning.
The Health and the Police departments arguments occupy more than one-fourth of the judgment. There are two episodic references, but not a single paragraph on the appellants reasons. History will be provided with one side of the story alone. This unequal treatment is telling.
The CFA, like the police, grounded its decision on Covid-19 health reasons. However, there is no one currently infected in Macau and there have been no new cases in the last 50 days. The borders have been closed to non-residents, and mandatory quarantine upon entry has been imposed (with some exceptions) since March.
Students are back in schools and life is gradually getting back to normal. The Macau International Dragon Boat Race a massive event, last year with Thousands of skilled athletes participating and Thousands of people attending is going ahead in June, co-organised by the same public entity that banned the Tiananmen themed photo exhibition.
Lets walk back a few months and place this judgment in context. In late September last year, in a different case, the Macau CFA upheld a ban on protests against Hong Kong police brutality, on the embarrassing grounds that it breached Hong Kong law (Chinese and Portuguese).
Proscribing a fundamental right based on a law from another jurisdiction throws to the wind centuries of constitutional doctrine. This is akin to the Macau CFA holding that an assembly against gender discrimination would disrespect Saudi Arabia law.
The 2019 CFA judgment also claimed that should the Macau Police allow the assembly to take place, its decision would very likely be interpreted as meaning that the [Macau] police agreed with the applicants decry of the Hong Kong Police.
According to this Macau CFA doctrine, police should only allow protests which they do not disagree with. Police patrol political ideas and the CFA condones.
The 2019 judgment did not only blatantly violate the right of assembly. It disregarded the rule of law, which requires that the law be above politics and be truthfully and consistently applied. That judgment heralded the first-day-of-the-rest-of-Macaus-life.
This is the context in which last Fridays judgment should be read, and the reason it came as no surprise. With all its unavoidable flaws, we can trust Macau courts on mainstream matters of justice. But on constitutional matters with a political tone, justice risks losing relevance.
Of the two statutes made relevant to the ruling, the Right of Assembly Statute is clear: an assembly can only be banned if its purpose is contrary to the law (Article 2). In this case, the purpose was to decry the Tiananmen massacre and express solidarity with its victims.
This is not unlawful. An unlawful purpose would be, say, an assembly seeking blatant racist and discriminatory goals, in breach of a criminal provision. It is the purpose that must be illegal. The CFA judgment fails to consider this.
To be contrary to a law in Macau means to breach a statute approved by the Legislative Assembly. The right of assembly cannot be banned on the grounds of contradicting a chief executive (CE) or police order. It is not just me saying it, it is provided by Article 40 of the Basic Law and Article 2 of the said statute. It is there in black and white. This is not something that can be missed.
No assembly can be banned based solely on the Right of Assembly Statute because this statute does not list any specific reason for banning assemblies. They can only be banned when another statute outlaws it. This requires another law stipulating that the purpose is illegal.
The CFA relied on Article 3 of the prevention and control of transmissible diseases statute (the Health Statute) and on a number of Macaus CDC recommendations. It argues that the assembly would be illegal because the Health Statute provides that everyone must abide by orders and measures issued by the relevant authorities.
However, as noted by one judge who partially dissented, Articles 23 to 25(1.1) of the Health Statute provide that the CE (not the police) is the only authority competent to issue special measures restricting not prohibiting social gatherings based on health reasons. Yet, the CE did not issue any such special measure.
This is an insurmountable obstacle because it means that no valid order exists to ban social gatherings. The CDC recommendations are legally irrelevant for the patently obvious reason that they are not mandatory, and any police order to that effect would be illegal; as would any CE special measure prohibiting it under the Health Statute instead of just restricting it.
The CFA tries to sidestep this undodgeable obstacle by saying that the police order banning the June 4 vigil, although based on health reasons, was not under the Health Statute. It was issued under the Right of Assembly Statute, the CFA claims.
This is flawed because as we saw and the CFA agrees the Right of Assembly Statue cannot apply alone. It depends on another law determining that the assemblys specific purpose is illegal.
Moreover, if the police order was not valid under the Health Statute and, as the CFA claims, was not issued under such statute, why did the CFA talk about the Health Statute in the first place? If it was not applicable, why apply it? To cite Bentham, it seems nonsense upon stilts.
It is a truism to say that fundamental rights are not absolute. But they can only be limited by law. Not by the police. The CFA elevated the police to a status that it does not enjoy.
If a fundamental right is to be lawfully restricted, it must be done proportionally and only in as much as necessary. Adjudicating on fundamental rights is not like flipping a two-sided coin.
Three hundred people were expected in Senado Square. There could have been room to hold the vigil with each participant wearing protective masks and abiding by the social distancing guidelines. Why the outright ban?
According to the Health Statute, not even the CE could approve special measures prohibiting social gatherings, only restricting them. The police decision violated the principle of proportionality and was invalid for that reason as well.
Lets revisit last years judgment and see how it compares with the judgement banning of the 2020 Tiananmen vigil.
The 2019 judgment would say that the Tiananmen vigil was rightly proscribed because it is contrary to Chinese law. It would also say that should the Macau Police allow the assembly to take place, its decision would be very likely interpreted as meaning that the [Macau] police agreed with the applicants decry of the Tiananmen massacre.
If the true reasons behind the 2020 assembly ban are the same as the ones behind the 2019 ban, even a one-person vigil despite there being no remaining coronavirus cases would have been prohibited on health grounds.
The word Tiananmen may have been omitted, but it is not forgotten.
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Professor: too early to predict impact of US-China tensions over Hong Kong on Macau gaming industry – Inside Asian Gaming
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A professor for Macaus economy and gaming industry says it is too early to predict what kind of influence US economic sanctions imposed on Hong Kong would have on Macaus economy, but suggested the Macau SAR government and operators pay close attention to US-China relations in the second half of this year.
US President Donald Trump threatened to place sanctions on Hong Kong this week after the Chinese National Peoples Congress (NPC) agreed to implement a national security law on Hong Kong. The law would include revoking Hong Kongs preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China. So far the White House has not provided an implementation timeline for any sanctions.
As Hong Kong fears losing its special close economic ties with the US, the escalating tensions between China and the US once again raise concerns about the impact this will have on Macaus economy and gaming industry.
Ricardo Chi Sen Siu, Associate Professor in Business Economics and Director of the Centre for Career and Research Advancement in Integrated Resorts at Macau University, told Inside Asian Gamingthe US Presidential election in November could have a big say in future relations between the nations.
No matter the US sanctions on Hong Kong in recent days or US-China trade disputes in recent years, it is hard to have any clear and accurate predictions about the influence on Macau before the US election, Sui said. There are too many uncertainties.
The Chinese NPC will offer legislative details of its national security law in Hong Kong in late June, with Siu suggesting Western governments will wait until then before making any decisions on how to react.
Unlike Hong Kong, Macau has always maintained a close relationship with the Beijing Government, and Macau officials and NPC deputies have expressed support for the Hong Kong national security law.
But Sui said even though the implementation of the national security law would lead US capital to be withdrawn from Hong Kong, its still too early to say whether the US-China relations would cause difficulties for US capital on the re-tendering of gaming licenses in 2022 in Macau.
Sui suggested the Macau SAR government and gaming operators keep an eye on developments between the US and China but should focus more on boosting their gaming and tourism offerings after the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Special guest Walt Power to discuss the five false paradigms of the Macau gaming industry in GAME3 tonight – Inside Asian Gaming
Posted: at 2:08 pm
Inside Asian Gamingwill host the latest installment of its GAME online interactive experience tonight, 2 June 2020, at 17:00 Macau time, featuring Walt Power, CEO of Ho Tram Project, as special guest.
Power, whose 17 years working in the Macau casino industry included stints as SVP of Operations for Sands China subsidiary Venetian Macau Limited and Chief Operating Officer of Studio City developer New Cotai Entertainment, was most recently CEO and Executive Director of South Shore Holdings, majority owner of THE 13 Hotel.
His appointment as CEO of Ho Tram Project, which operates The Grand Ho Tram Strip outside Vietnams Ho Chi Minh City, was announced earlier this month.
Over the course of 40 minutes on Tuesday 2 June, Power will reveal and discuss what he describes as five false paradigms of the Macau gaming industry. He will also briefly discuss his new role at The Grand Ho Tram Strip.
The event will comprise a 20-minute interview byIAGs Vice Chairman and CEO Andrew W Scott, followed by a 20-minute AMA (ask me anything) session during which GAME members will be able to ask Mr Power anything they wish.
Only GAME members will be able to attend the online interactive event. Industry friends and colleagues can sign up for free atwww.iaggame.com.
First announced byIAGin late March, GAME is a brand new online innovation and solutions platform developed in response to the challenges posed to the Asian gaming industry by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Short for Gaming Asia Mega Experience, GAME is a recognition of the difficulties faced in bringing the industry together at a time when we need to collaborate and develop innovative ideas more than ever before.
It provides a variety of interactive and engaging online experiences ranging from interviews with industry heavyweights and keynote speeches to workshops, talks and panel discussions.
For more information on GAME and to join the more than 300 current GAME members for free, visitwww.iaggame.com.
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A Russian Arctic shipyard city known for nuclear submarine production, Severodvinsk, will be sealed off on Friday to contain a coronavirus outbreak there as the countrys confirmed cases neared 450,000.
The governor of the Arkhangelsk region where Severodvinsk is located has signed a decree shutting access to the city of more than 180,000 people from midnight Friday, with no fixed end date.
Police were already manning checkpoints at entry roads on Friday, the Region 29 local news agency reported.
Severodvinsk is considered a hotspot with more than 1,000 confirmed cases, according to the regional health watchdog.
It has already made wearing gloves and masks compulsory.
On Thursday, 57 new cases were reported in the city, including 30 among workers at the shipyards.
Nearly half of Severodvinsks working-age population is employed in production and repairs of ships and submarines at huge enterprises including Sevmash and Zvezdochka, both part of a state conglomerate.
Under the USSR, Severodvinsk was a closed city requiring special passes to enter due to its involvement in nuclear submarine construction.
Just like 29 years ago, Severodvinsk has become closed again, reported Region 29.
Under the new rules, however, residents will still be able to leave to get medical treatment and even to visit second homes, known as dachas.
The shipyards are not closing but authorities have recommended they stop bringing in workers from outside the city.
Though it wasnt easy to take this decision, it really is needed, acting regional governor Alexander Tsybulsky said Thursday.
You need to stick it out for a week or 10 days so that we dont see the infection rate grow further, he told residents.
The Arkhangelsk region as a whole has 2,712 confirmed cases according to the regional virus task force.
Russia has also seen high numbers of virus cases in eastern Siberia and President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered troops to build a field hospital in the Zabaikalye region, which has 1,321 confirmed cases.
Russia has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the world at 449,834 and 5,528 people have died from the virus.
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The king of Macau. The godfather of gambling. Stanley Ho Hung-sun was known by many names during his nearly six-decade long career. But for the extended family the tycoon left behind when he died in May, even those grandiose epithets only scratch the surface of who he really was. My father is the king of friendship, his daughter Pansy Ho said in a 2015 interview with Tatler. His charisma, sincerity and generosity have won him many lifelong and loyal friends who are always there for him.
Born in 1921, Ho was Eurasian of Dutch descent, born and raised in Hong Kong when it was still under British rule. He was the nephew of Robert Hotung, one of the citys first tycoons, but when Hos father went bankrupt during the Great Depression, he was forced to relocate to Macau with just HK$10 to his name. He went on to forge his first fortune in the city at the age of just 24, smuggling goods between Macau and China.
See also: Casino Legend StanleyHoDies, Aged 98
A sharp wit, hustlers instinct, eye for a deal and a knack for showmanship were traits Ho perfected early on, and which came in handy later, helping him secure a monopoly gaming license for Macau in 1961a monopoly he held for more than four decades. In 1970, the flamboyant kingpin opened his flagship property in Macau, the Casino Lisboa.
Expanding the scope of his business interests, Ho founded shipping, property and hospitality conglomerate Shun Tak Holdings in 1972, which now operates the Hong Kong-Macau Turbojet ferry fleet. And as high rollers flooded the blackjack and roulette tables of his casinos, his empire began to prosper. After Tatler launched in Hong Kong in 1977, the swish mogul became a regular fixture in the magazines society pages, being photographed at the Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery exhibition at The Peninsula Marco Polo suite in 1980, the Hong Kong Ballet in 1989, Bob and Sushi Harilelas 50th wedding anniversary party in 1990 and the Tatler Soire in 2006, among many other occasions.
See also: Game Changer: Pansy Ho Steers Macau In A New Direction
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Posted: at 6:50 am
Oceans cover 70 per cent of the Earths surface. But, because many of us spend most of our lives on land, the 362 million square kilometres of blue out there arent always top of mind.
While vast, oceans are not empty. They are teeming with life and connected to society through history and culture, shipping and economic activity, geopolitics and recreation.
But oceans along with coastal people and marine species are vulnerable, and good ocean governance is critical to protect these expanses from pollution, overfishing and climate change, to name just some of the threats.
The laws, institutions and regulations in place for the oceans are a multi-layered patchwork and always a work in progress.
Some characterize oceans as the common heritage of humankind. As such, the United Nations plays a critical role in ocean governance, and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is a key international agreement. The agreement grants coastal and island states authority over swaths of ocean extending 200 nautical miles (360 kilometres) from the shore. These are called exclusive economic zones (EEZ).
EEZs are domestic spaces. Countries enshrine law and delegate authority to state agencies that lead monitoring, management and enforcement in these zones.
Indigenous peoples also assert jurisdictional authority and coastal peoples hold critical insight about coastal and marine ecosystems. Governance is improved when state agencies share power and collaborate.
For example, during the Newfoundland cod collapse, inshore fishermen had local ecological knowledge about changing cod stock dynamics that might have helped avoid the disaster.
A vast portion of the ocean lies beyond EEZs: 64 per cent by area and 95 per cent by volume. These regions are often referred to as the high seas. The high seas are important for international trade, fishing fleets, undersea telecommunications cables and are of commercial interest to mining companies. The high seas also host a wide array of ecosystems and species. Many of these are understudied or altogether unrecorded.
Read more: Getting to the bottom of things: Can mining the deep sea be sustainable?
UN agreements identify high seas using a technical term areas beyond national jurisdiction that refers to the water column. The sea floor is identified separately and called the area. UNCLOS and other pieces of international law regulate activity in these spaces and are responsible for ensuring that no single country or company dominates or benefits unfairly.
Other multilateral, sector-based arrangements manage particularly complex resources. For example, regional fisheries management organizations bring nation states together to collaborate on monitoring and managing fish stocks, like tuna, that have large ranges and cross multiple borders and boundaries.
Currently, international law does not meaningfully address biodiversity monitoring and conservation in the high seas. This biodiversity governance gap has been of concern for the past two decades.
Without a binding mechanism under international law, countries are not obligated to co-operate on developing and implementing conservation measures in the high seas. In addition, monitoring the impacts of various economic activities, such as fishing and mining, on biodiversity is piecemeal and inadequate. Marine species or even entire ecosystems could be lost before we have had a chance to identify and understand them.
Read more: Artificial intelligence makes fishing more sustainable by tracking illegal activity
On Dec. 24, 2017, the UN General Assembly voted to convene a multi-year process to develop a treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Three of the scheduled negotiation sessions have taken place, while the fourth and final one, scheduled for March 2020, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some progress has been made. Notably, the draft treaty addresses four key areas: marine genetic resources; area-based management tools, including marine protected areas; environmental impact assessments and capacity building and the transfer of marine technology.
Yet, many disagreements remain.
For example, countries diverge on the extent to which governance should prioritize the principle of oceans as the common heritage of humankind. Very pragmatic questions underlie this tension: should marine genetic sequences be commercialized? If so, how would this work and will it be possible to agree on a way to share benefits fairly? These are critical and how they are addressed will determine if persistent inequities between the Global North and Global South are lessened or exacerbated.
Another challenge relates to marine protected areas (MPAs), especially how they are defined and implemented. What levels of protection are needed for an area to count as an MPA? How much should the treaty predetermine processes used to establish new MPAs and how will MPA rules be enforced?
Has postponing the final round of negotiations cut high seas biodiversity negotiations adrift? A European research team is surveying participants and experts to learn what impact the disruption may have. However, it is unlikely that the treaty will fall completely by the wayside. Delegates and negotiators may well continue to informally discuss options with one another and refine positions with an eye towards reaching consensus when rescheduling is possible.
A ratified treaty covering biodiversity in the high seas would be an exciting layer to add to the ocean governance patchwork.
But, delegates and negotiators always have to make concessions during talks, and disagreements often persist after the treaty has been signed. Implementation can be as challenging and contentious as negotiation itself. Various human dimensions and economic challenges will also continue to need attention, including human trafficking, perverse fishing subsidies and our collective responsibility to small island states that may be submerged as sea levels rise.
These challenges point to other international forums the World Trade Organization, International Labour Organization and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and serve to remind us of the myriad ways that we are all connected to, and by, oceans.
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Posted: at 6:50 am
Fishing trade groups representing Argentinean and Spanish fishing businesses have formed a framework for management of FAO zone 41, an area of ocean located just outside of Argentinas exclusive economic zone.
The area is rich in hake and squid, which has been targeted by between 22 and 26 Spanish fishing vessels for the past 37 years. Recently, it has come under intense fishing pressure from Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese ships, according to Cepesca, an association representing 725 Spanish fishing companies.
On 1 June, Cepesca joined with the National Association of Hake Fishing Freezer Vessel Owners (ANAMER), representing a 34-ship fleet that fishes for hake and cephalopods in FAO zone 41, as well as the Organization for the Protection of the Resources of the Southwest Atlantic (OPRAS), a nonprofit established in 2018 with the goal of promoting sustainable fisheries management in international waters, to sign an agreement outlining a process for bringing the area of the high seas in question under a legal management framework.
The agreement calls for the implementation and international recognition of a defined fishing area as a regulated marine ecosystem in the Southwest Atlantic. It also creates a technical commission tasked with identifying areas and species within the zone that should be prioritized for conservation or protection.
In 2019, a similar agreement was signed between ANAMER, CEPESCA, and SINDIPI, the Chamber of Shipowners and the Fishing Industries of Itajai and Regiao of Brazil a country with an EEZ that also borders FAO zone 41. Both agreement have been forwarded to the United Nations and FAO to encourage those organizations to establish management mechanisms for international waters, which are currently unregulated, the groups said in a press release.
Today, OPRAS, ANAMER, and CEPESCA sign an important agreement, ratifying the commitment of our organizations to achieve order and necessary governance in the exploitation of high seas resources in the Southwest Atlantic, OPRAS President Alan Mackern said. Holding principles of legality, rationality, and sustainability for the development of the legitimate fishing of the industry, its companies and associate members; charting the path to be followed in a region of the high seas that lacks regulations and that presents certain risks of depredation due to the irrational abuse of supposed freedoms that exceed international standards.
The OPRAS project aims to assume a greater role and promote to organizations and governments the need to push the application in this area of the essential regulations for the management and conservation of fisheries on the high seas, as a formula to eradicate both abusive practices and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the organization said.
Juan Manuel Liria, president of ANAMER and CEPESCA, said the Spanish vessels fishing in the area are subject to European Union regulations that require them to obtain a special fishing permit, have fisheries observers on board, and to avoid fishing in areas declared as vulnerable marine ecosystems. The fleet also was required to conduct mapping of the seabed in the entire area in which it planned to fish before it was certified to fish in the area by the E.U.
Liria said his groups were seeking to maintain environmental balance and the health of the area's marine ecosystems as the only formula for guarantee the future of the fishing ground.
For the Spanish fishing sector and by extension for the European Union, it is vital to be part of and push initiatives like this, since we are convinced that only a sustainable fishing activity can ensure its future and this happens, inexorably , for eradicating abusive practices and any type of illegal fishing, he said.
The agreement seeks to avoid coverage of maritime spaces susceptible to disputes or controversies related to pending issues of jurisdiction or sovereignty or that are within the scope of existing regional fisheries treaties or organizations.
The three organizations involved in the signing are encouraging other organizations involved in the global fishing industry to adhere to the principles of this agreement and to commit to its objectives, they said.
Photo courtesy of Cepesca
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Posted: at 6:50 am
Dropping anchor back in 2018 on Xbox One and the Microsoft Store, Rares Sea of Thieveswill finally venture into the high seas of Steam. This new launch on Valves digital storefront brings Sea of Thievesand all of its content to a new batch of pirates. While there is no big update to the game that accompanies this change, it is still awesome to see it make its way to another platform.
Despite its lukewarm reception at launch, Sea of Thieveshas only gone from strength to strength. Developer Rare has supported the game steadily with more content for over two years now. This included the Ships of Fortune update in April. That brought a new Emissary system that gave players the ability to carry out diplomatic missions in Sea of Thieves.
New players can jump into that as well as the latestLost Treasures update, which arrived on May 27. It changed up some of the story bits in the game, as well as adding Daily Bounties as a source of constant reward.
Of course, if you are subscribed to Xbox Game Pass for PC, you will already have the game via the Microsoft Store. However, if you decide to jump over to Steam, the price of $39.99 remains the same for Sea of Thieves.
Players looking for a leg up on their fellow new pirates can tune into Twitch to get some Twitch Drops. Watching partnered streamers will unlock the Mutinous Fist ship set parts, Onyx equipment, and various emotes for your own adventures.
After linking your accounts youll be able to grab each days gear by watching a partnered streamer complete their Daily Bounty, or by simply tuning in for 30 minutes, a tweet by Sea of Thieves explained.
It is rare for games that suffer a bad launch to keep at it and turn it around. However, whenever it happens, it is great to see developers sticking to their guns and making it work. The likes ofNo Mans Sky andSea of Thieves are great examples of hard work bringing success and more fun times for players. We look forward to seeing even more pirates join with this new Steam launch.
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