This article traces the unique process of reconstructing the identity of the Macau Special Administrative Region and its people after the political resumption to China in 1999, and the political and economic significance of the reconstruction. As in other postcolonial contexts, identity is an arena of political contest where various discourses that embody re-appropriation of political traditions and legacies criss-cross. In Macau, the post-handover identity comprises the local, the national and the international components, with Macau characterized as a historical, colonial/cultural hybrid and economic object. In fact, the Macau identity after 1999 represents a re-appropriation of the image of colonial Macau propagated by the Portuguese administration since the 1980s. Also, identity making has been a process of incorporating instead of repressing or eliminating the identities of “the other,” and building a stand-alone national identity is not the prime task in the reconstruction of an identity. Rather, multiple identity components are deliberately incorporated and promoted. The success of the process has fabricated Macau's relatively smooth reintegration with China and enhanced the legitimacy of its new government.
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