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Portugal, China and the Macau Negotiations, 1986-1999$
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Carmen Amado Mendes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139002

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139002.001.0001

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The Transition Period and the Problems of “Localisation”

The Transition Period and the Problems of “Localisation”

(p.63) 3 The Transition Period and the Problems of “Localisation”
Portugal, China and the Macau Negotiations, 1986-1999

Carmen Amado Mendes

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter presents the context in which Portugal conducted negotiations with China during the 1988-1999 transition period. It explores the domestic political environment for clues as to how Portuguese strategy was defined. This is done by examining the personalities and views of policy-makers responsible for formulating strategy. It analyses three inter-related issues that were discussed in the Sino-Portuguese Joint Liaison Group: the localisation of language, civil service and the law. Consensus was a safe way of avoiding public dissension with China, allowing the Portuguese politicians to convey the image of a dignified withdrawal to the public. Lisbon's indifference regarding Macau and the trauma of decolonisation shaped the Portuguese leaders' approach to negotiations, using them for domestic political consumption.

Keywords:   Sino-Portuguese Joint Liaison Group, Sino-Portuguese Land Group, Policies of localisation, Sinification, Macanisation, Double tutelage, Cohabitation, China, Portugal, Macau

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