History And Culture

Situated 60 kilometers west of Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland,Macauwas colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, and the Portuguese influence is evident to this day. In fact it was in 1553 thatPortugalestablished a trading post in Macau, as a center for trading withChina,Japanand areas ofSouth East Asia. It was the first settlement that Europeans established in theFar East.

During Portuguese tenure, land taxes and customs duties were paid toChina, andPortugalcontinued to officially pay rent toChinafor the area until 1849 when Portugalstated Macauto be independent. Prior to that, although the region had been an important trading center for the Portuguese, its influence had reduced by the end of the 17th century due to the decline of the influence ofPortugalas a trading nation in the East.

The increasing influence of the Dutch inEast Asiaultimately resulted in the Portuguese losing the spice trade, and so their influence as a trader in that part of the world declined. Ultimately all trade withChinaceased and onceBritaintook Hong Kong in 1841, and the territory overtook Macau as the main European trading post inChina, Portuguese influence in China was over.

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