Unlike in Hong Kong, few in Macau demand greater democracy

If it looks like rubbish collection…

FOR residents of Macau, a former Portuguese colony that is now an autonomous region of China, Typhoon Hato was striking not just for the damage it did, but for the help that came in its wake. After the storm pounded the territory in late August, Chinese troops emerged from their barracks to help with relief work. It was the army’s first deployment on the streets of the territory since the end of Portuguese rule in 1999. Strikingly, the soldiers’ presence was cheered.

In nearby Hong Kong, to which Macau is due to be linked by a long bridge next year, Chinese troops have not been called out to help the local authorities since Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997. Suspicions of the Chinese army run deep. Annual commemorations of its crushing of the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing in 1989 attract thousands.

Not so in Macau, where critics of China have been far less vocal, and opposition to…Continue reading

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