China lauds casino-rich Macau

Home » China lauds casino-rich Macau

China has taken a swipe at the current Hong Kong anti-government protesters by lauding another former colony, the casinos destination of Macau.



China’s president, Xi Jinping, used the 20th anniversary of Portugal’s handover of Macau to China to send a strong message to Hong Kong’s dissenters.

A three-day visit to Macau ending in praise for the territory’s loyalty to China was designed to contrast with the situation only an hour away by ferry where the former British colony is being disrupted by demonstrations.

China introduced what it calls “two systems” into the country to set up Macau and Hong Kong as dependencies. It has accused western countries of trying to foment unrest in Hong Kong to destabilise China.

Observers feel that the strong economy in Macau, fed by the casinos and the tourist market, are dissuading locals from any ideas of seeking greater independence, which is at the root of the Hong Kong problems. As the only place in China where gambling is legal, Macau has a distinct edge over its neighbour.

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From only one gambling licence in the 1990s when it was a Portuguese enclave, Macau now has many and its economy has boomed to nine times that of pre-handover days. It is now the third wealthiest city in GDP per capita, behind Luxembourg and Switzerland. In 2006 it overtook Las Vegas as the world’s biggest gambling hub.

The general consensus of international observers if that the residents of Macau are too well off in the current situation to display any unrest.

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