World Country Macao

About the world country Macao, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: A peninsular enclave of China, plus two small islands on the coast of Kwangtung Province, across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong. Size: 5 sq. mi. (16 sq. km.). Population: 280,000.

Who Really Rules: The Portuguese have ruled Macao since the 16th century, but officially it is a "Chinese territory under the temporary administration of Portugal." The governor, a military officer appointed by the Portuguese government, establishes policy and oversees the small bureaucracy, but neighboring China exercises enormous influence. Members of Macao's partially elected legislative assembly have been stymied in their drive toward parliamentary rule largely by China's open disapproval. China prefers that the colony, which is 99% ethnic Chinese, remain stable and undemocratic.

Macao's booming economy, based on gambling, textiles, and access to China, is dominated by wealthy Portuguese and by Chinese businessmen like Ho Yin, who doubles as Communist China's unofficial representative in Macao.

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