Definitions for macauməˈkaʊ
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Category: Geography (places)
a former Portuguese province on the south coast of China and two islands in the South China Sea; reverted to China in 1999
A city just west of Hong Kong, a highly autonomous special region of China, previously under Portuguese control.
Macau, also spelled Macao, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong to the east, bordered by Guangdong province to the north and facing the South China Sea to the east and south. The territory's economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism, but also includes manufacturing. A former Portuguese colony, Macau was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until 1999, when it was the last remaining European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 1550s. In 1557, Macau was rented to Portugal by the Chinese empire as a trading port. The Portuguese administered the city under Chinese authority and sovereignty until 1887, when Macau became a colony of the Portuguese empire. Sovereignty over Macau was transferred back to China on 20 December 1999. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Macau stipulate that Macau operate with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2049, fifty years after the transfer. Under the policy of "one country, two systems", the PRC's Central People's Government is responsible for the territory's defense and foreign affairs, while Macau maintains its own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy. Macau participates in many international organizations and events that do not require members to possess national sovereignty.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China since December 20, 1999 with its own constitution. The island of Macau and adjacent islands are located off the southeast coast of China.
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