Establishment Day of the Macau Special Administrative Region.
On this day in 1999, the People's Republic of China regained sovereignty over Macau, thus the celebration of the Establishment Day of the Macau Special Administrative Region annually on December 20. Macau is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. The day is usually marked by an officially organized fireworks display in the evening. It also serves as a venue for political speeches and rallies.
Historical accounts have it that this holiday was established to mark the universality of the transition of Macau from being a colony of Portugal to becoming a special administrative division of the People's Republic of China. Macau had been administered by Portugal since the 16th century. The region saw a major development and fast economic growth after the arrival of the Portuguese.
After the overthrow of the Portuguese dictatorship in 1974, the new government of Portugal decided to relinquish all overseas possessions. A long period ensued for the transition of Macau from the possession of Portugal to China. The Chinese and Portuguese representatives signed a Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration in 1987, to make Macau a special administrative division of China. The declaration came into effect on December 20, 1999.
Macau is a small peninsula in mainland China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. It reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. Its giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname of "the Las Vegas of Asia." One of its awesome landmarks is the 338m-high Macau Tower, which has a sweeping view of the city. Its thriving industries include textiles, electronics, and toys. Its tourism industry boasts of a wide range of hotels, stadiums, restaurants, and casinos.
We greet the people and government of the Macau Special Administrative Region headed by Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, and People's Republic of China Chief of State, President Xi Jinping, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Establishment Day of the Macau Special Administrative Region.