China Cracks Down on Freedom

The fight for freedom in Hong Kong has gained most of the focus in the free world in recent years. However, Voices of America News (VOA) reported recently China is quietly, but steadily, strengthening its hold on Macau.

Macau, as well as Hong Kong, was originally ruled by European countries (Portugal and the United Kingdom, respectively). Both also obtained pledges their independence would be preserved when China assumed control of them in the 1990s.

Chinese Crackdown More Successful in Macau

Hong Kong fought Chinese communist authorities harder than Macau, resulting in the 2019 democratic movement – and Beijing’s ensuing violent crackdown on freedom, obviously violating Hong Kong’s constitutional autonomy.

Macau has a pro-democracy organization. Yet, the Chinese government was clearly concerned a similar revolt might occur in Macau during the 2019 Hong Kong riots. To keep Macau’s youth democracy uprising in check, Beijing utilized a combination of bribes and punishments.

Since the 20th birthday of Chinese rule came about in December 2019, Hong Kong sociologists characterized Macau as “the good little boy in the house” who gets “chocolates” for being good.

Although some Macau inhabitants despised the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) totalitarian regime, others believed the communist regime handled the island’s matters more effectively than the Portuguese authorities. They credited the CCP with not upsetting Macau’s prized industries, the island’s massive casino industry.

Macau and nearby Guangdong have formed a special trade area on a nearby Hengqin island. It comes with special tax, as well as other measured efforts to diversify Macau’s economy from casinos and toward banking, technology, Chinese medicine, tourism, exhibitions, and trade.

China is Now Attempting to Remove Macas Key Attractions

China has gradually asserted authority over the world’s largest gambling hub’s casino operations. The administration of Macau promised a regulatory change that may see city politicians controlling businesses in the city. This could include the introduction of state leaders at casino operators.

According to VOA, American companies hold half of Macau’s six gaming companies; this is implying the CCP wants tougher controls to minimize Western dominance on the island.

Some communist leaders are said to be horrified by the gaming industry over the years. They’ve been seeing its revenues as money diverted from more productive endeavors ends up in the coffers of American companies.

China took measures to suppress the democratic movements in Macau this year; although, they received far less global notice than the repression in Hong Kong.

Despite protests from the United States and Europe, pro-democracy local campaigns were debarred from Macau election results in July. This happened for similar reasons to those referenced when Beijing’s puppet regime in Hong Kong dismissed democratic candidates.

The reasons included a refusal to “pledge allegiance” to the Chinese communist regime, inadequate “national pride,” and so on.