Under the terms of a secret agreement reached between China and Portugal in 1979, Portugal was to continue administering Macao but sovereignty was transferred to China. Eight years later however, the Sino–Portuguese agreement on Macao's future was signed, which stipulated that it would become a Chinese Special Administrative Region on 20 December 1999. Whereas the transitional stage from Portuguese to Chinese administration began in 1987, political development started in 1976 when the principle of democracy was introduced into the colonial legislature (two years after a military coup had toppled the regime of Marcello Caetano in Portugal). This article will explore aspects of Macao's political development since the Portuguese revolution in 1974.
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