Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau
The Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau, or Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration, was a treaty between Portugal and the People's Republic of China over the status of Macau. The full name of the treaty is Joint Declaration of the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Portuguese Republic on the question of Macao. Signed on 26 March, 1987 the Declaration established the process and conditions of the transfer of the territory from Portuguese rule to the People's Republic of China. The Joint Declaration served also as the main source of fundamental rights that were implemented in the Macau Special Administrative Region Basic Law. The process was similar to the transfer of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty by the United Kingdom in 1997.
|Joint declaration of the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Portuguese Republic on the Question of Macau|
|Alternative Chinese name|
|Portuguese||Declaração Conjunta Do Governo Da República Portuguesa e Do Governo Da República Popular Da China Sobre a Questão De Macau|
By the 17th century, Portugal had established colonial rule over Macau after gaining concessions from various Chinese governments. In 1887, Portugal and the Qing dynasty signed the Sino-Portuguese Draft Minutes and the Sino–Portuguese Treaty of Peking, in which China ceded to Portugal the right to "perpetual occupation and government of Macau"; conversely, Portugal pledged to seek China's approval before transferring Macau to another country. Colonial rule continued until 1974, when the Carnation revolution installed a democratic regime in Portugal that sought to end colonialism. Bilateral talks between China and Portugal led to the status of Macau being established as Chinese territory under Portuguese administration. The full framework of transfer of sovereignty was decided in 1987 with the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration.
The Declaração provided for Portuguese administration to officially end on 20 December, 1999. Although it would become a full part of the People's Republic of China, Macau would enjoy the status of a Special Administrative Region (SAR), with full autonomy and self-governance in domestic affairs, economic policy and internal security. The system of "One country, two systems" would be established, exempting Macau from the Socialist system and several laws decreed by the central government in Beijing. The capitalist, legal system and liberal society enjoyed by Macau would remain unchanged for a minimum of 50 years after the transfer. The Chinese government would not levy taxes on Macau nor make laws pertaining to Macau's governance. The Macau SAR would enjoy a great degree of autonomy in all but foreign affairs and defence, which would remain under Chinese control. Bearing the name of "Macau, China," Macau would enjoy the right to conclude agreements and arrangements with Portugal and international organisations for its own development. The Chinese National People's Congress would enact a "Basic Law" that would formalise the respecting of some basic principles of Chinese government in Macau, but leaving other areas untouched.
- "Declaração Conjunta Do Governo Da República Portuguesa e Do Governo Da República Popular Da China Sobre a Questão De Macau" (in Portuguese). Government Printing Bureau, Macau Special Administrative Region. Archived from the original on 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
- 中華人民共和國政府和葡萄牙共和國政府關於澳門問題的聯合聲明 (in Chinese). Government Printing Bureau, Macau Special Administrative Region. Archived from the original on 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
- "Joint declaration of the Government of the People's Republic of China and The Government of the Republic of Portugal on the question of Macao". Government Printing Bureau (Macao SAR). 1987. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "What are the main contents of the Sino–Portuguese Joint Declaration on the Question of Macao?". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. 2000-11-15. Retrieved 2010-04-26.