Macau is located at the entrance of the Pearl River Delta, 90 miles (144 Kilometres) southeast of Guangzhou and 40 miles (64 kilometres) southwest of Hong Kong. It covers a total area of 32.9 square kilometres, consisting of a mainland peninsula and two islands, Taipa and Coloane, linked by three modern bridges and a causeway. The territory is connected to mainland China at the Barrier Gate, the existing crossing point located at the northern part of the city. A new border between the reclamation areas of Coloane and Taipa has been opened, greatly improving the flow of goods and people between Macau and the Mainland.
Macau’s population stands at 682,500 thousand, of which over 96% are Chinese speaking, 2% Portuguese speakers. English is Macau’s third language and is generally used in trade, tourism and commerce.
In 1987 the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration on the future of Macau was signed by the People’s Republic of China and the Portuguese Government. According to its provisions, China resumed sovereignty over Macau on December 20th, 1999. As a Special Administrative Region of China, Macau enjoys a high degree of autonomy.
Macau retains its political, economic and social system for 50 years, with its own executive, legislative and judicial authorities, at the same time continuing to enjoy all the advantages of free port status as a separate customs territory.
The Chinese government has affirmed its confidence in Macau’s future prosperity and stability, which will help guarantee the success of its “One Country, Two Systems” policy.