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China: see MacauMacau
or Macao
, Port. Macau, Mandarin Aomen, special administrative region of China, formerly administered by Portugal (2015 est. pop. 601,000), 10.8 sq mi (28.2 sq km), adjoining Guangdong prov.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Aomen), territory on the southeastern coast of China, including the Aomen Peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Kuoloane in the estuary of the Canton River (South China Sea). Portuguese possession. Area, 16 sq km. Population, 260,000 according to a 1968 estimate; primarily Chinese. The Portuguese population is 8,000. The main city is Aomen (Macao).

The economy of Macao is based primarily on international financial and commercial brokerage operations; it is one of the centers of the capitalist market in gold and opium. Trade—mainly transit—is conducted with the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong (Hsiangkang), the USA, Canada, and other countries. Macao exports fish, rice, silk, tobacco, tea, and decorative handicraft articles. Industry is small (production of matches, foodstuffs, and handmade articles— lanterns, firecrackers, and so on).

The first Portuguese appeared in Macao at the very beginning of the 16th century. In 1557, Portugal leased Macao from China, although the latter retained sovereign rights. However, the Portuguese colonizers violated the agreement, and in 1680 a Portuguese governor was appointed to Macao. In 1849 the Portuguese government declared Macao independent of China. In 1940, Japan established control over the territory. After Japan’s defeat in World War II (1945), Macao came under Portuguese rule again. In 1951 it received the status of an overseas territory of Portugal.




a territory in southern China, on the South China Sea, near the Chu Chiang delta. The Chinese name for it is Aomen.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a special administrative region of S China, across the estuary of the Zhu Jiang from Hong Kong: chief centre of European trade with China in the 18th century; attained partial autonomy in 1976; formerly (until 1999) a Portuguese overseas province under a long-term lease from China, as with Hong Kong (a UK territory until 1997); transit trade with rest of China; tourism and financial services. It retains its own currency, the pataca. Pop.: 448 500 (2003 est.). Area: 16 sq. km (6 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005