August 01, 2010

One Country, Two Systems

I had come to China with a double entry business visa. Each entry could last 45 days. Although I could stay for 3 months in total within the country, I had to leave and reenter during some point. Despite being reunified with the mainland over a decade ago, Hong Kong or Macau are treated as distinct entities. I would be crossing international borders to visit them, so for the purposes of my visa it would qualify as leaving the country.

Hong Kong and Macau are Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. The former British and Portuguese outposts retain their distinct charm while embracing the opportunities provided to them by a modern China. Falling under the "one country, two systems" principle originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, they maintain most of their past political and economic autonomy. The policy will remain in place for 50 years from the time of their respective handovers in 1997 and 1999, as was agreed with the United Kingdom and Portugal when China regained sovereignty over these territories. I spent five relaxing days in the SARs before returning to China.


"The future comes one day at a time." ~ Dean Acheson