Encountering Macau: A Portuguese City-state on the Periphery of China, 1575-1999 (Transitions: Asia & Asian America)

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9780813389707: Encountering Macau: A Portuguese City-state on the Periphery of China, 1575-1999 (Transitions: Asia & Asian America)
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Poised to revert to China like its better-known neighbor, Hong Kong, the tiny peninsula of Macau stands in the vortex of massive regional economic and social change, serving as a dynamic launch for Chinas dramatic, export-oriented growth. Making liberal use of historical photographs and illustrations, Gunn traces Macaus history, skillfully charts five hundred years of colonial encounter and economic relations with China, Japan, and the Asia region. Gunns exploration of Macaus complex and fascinating saga draws out wider lessons about the nature of colonialism in Asia and the shape of the East Asian world order in the coming Pacific century. Tracing the history of this tiny peninsula perched off the coast of China, Geoffrey Gunn skillfully charts five hundred years of colonial encounter and economic relations with China, Japan, and the Asia region. For 450 years a Portuguese enclave or city-state, Macaulike Hong Kongwill revert to Chinese sovereignty at the end of the century. Macau too stands in the vortex of massive regional economic and social change, serving as a dynamic launch for Chinas dramatic, export-oriented growth. Yet little has been written in the West on Macaus parallel transition to a Special Administrative Region of China or, indeed, on the historical, economic, and political features that distinguish this Portuguese territory from its British counterpart.Making liberal use of historical photographs and illustrations, Gunn situates Macau in its Asian context since the sixteenth century, arguing that Macaus history has been shaped by more than its economic incorporation into a Euro-centric world systemon Chinese termsor its survival in the twentieth century as an essentially rentier state built around gambling. The author considers the complex and ultimately doomed struggle by the Portuguese to assert sovereignty over Macau, which was reclaimed by China in the historic Sino-Portuguese Declaration of 1987, that foreshadows the end of Western rule in China. Macaus multi-faceted and fascinating saga draws out wider lessons about the nature of colonialism in Asia and the shape of the East Asian world order in the coming Pacific century.

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