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Macao History Timeline

221BC - 1600AD
  • (221BC - 206BC) During Qin Dynasty, region was under jurisdiction of the Nanhai Prefecture of Guangdong Province
  • (265AD - 420AD) Macau was part of Dongguan Prefecture in Jin Dynasty
  • (960 - 1279) During Song Dynasty, Macau was under jurisdiction of new Xiangshan County
  • (1277) Over 50,000 people sought refuge in Macau from invading Mongols
  • (1368 - 1644) Fishermen migrated to Macau during Ming Dynasty
  • (1513) Portuguese landed on Lintin Island, claimed island for King of Portugal
  • (1516) Portuguese traders used Macau as staging port
  • (1521) Chinese expelled Portuguese adventurers from coast of Guangdong
  • (1536) Portuguese traders allowed to anchor at Haojingao following a ship wreck
  • (1540s) Portuguese helped China in eliminating coastal pirates
  • (1552 - 1553) Portuguese received permission to erect storage sheds onshore
  • (1557) China ceded Macau to Portugal in recognition of their help in defeating pirates
  • (1557) Portuguese opened first trading post in Asia in Macau
  • (1560s) Jesuits arrived in Macau, began constructing churches, including Cathedral of Saint Paul and schools
  • (1564) Portuguese established western trade with India, Japan and China
  • (1580s) Dominicans arrived in Macau, began construction of schools and St. Dominic's Church
  • (1587) King Philip II of Spain promoted Macau to "City of the Name of God"
1600 - 1900
  • (1662) Battle of Macau: Dutch attacked Macau, but were defeated
  • (1639) Japan was closed to trade with Portuguese, which removed one of the vital trade links for Macau control
  • (1641) Macau lost its trade with the Far East, causing financial distress
  • (1680) Portuguese appointed first government, but remained under partial Chinese control
  • (1750 - 1840) Commerce was restricted to local trade, Macau became refuge for European traders and Protestant missionaries
  • (1841) British occupied Hong Kong, surpassed Macau as financial hub of southern China, Macau's economy nearly collapsed
  • (1844) Portuguese legalized gambling in Macau
  • (1845) Portugal declared Macau to be a free port, expelled Chinese soldiers and officials, levied taxes on Chinese residents
  • (1848 - 1870s) Macau served as transit port for trade of slave laborers from southern China who were shipped to Cuba and South American countries
  • (1887) Chinese government accepted perpetual sovereignty of Portugal over Macau in Treaty of Peking
  • (1890) Qingzhou was incorporated into Macau's territory
1900s
  • (1939 - 1945) During World War II, Macau was only neutral port in South China, became refugee center
  • (1943 - 1945) Japanese created virtual protectorate over Macau
  • (1951) Portugal designated Macau to be a separate overseas province
  • (1954) Macau Grand Prix was established
  • (1962) Syndicate formed by Hong Kong and Macau businessmen brought in all forms of gambling
  • (1966) Riots broke out between pro-Communist Chinese and Macau police over building permits
  • (1966) Portugal offered to hand over administration of Macau to China, offer was declined
  • (1974) Following Carnation Revolution in Portugal , Lisbon removed all troops, offered colony back to China
  • (1979) Portugal and People's Republic of China established diplomatic relations, Macau was acknowledged as "Chinese territory under Portuguese administration"
  • (1987) Agreement reached between Portugal and China that Macau would be returned to China in 1999
  • (1995) Macau International Airport opened
  • (1999) Transfer of Sovereignty took place, People's Republic of China assumed full sovereignty
  • (1999) Edmund Ho elected head of the first post-colonial government
2000s
  • (2001) American firms built new gambling facilities, half of government revenue was from gambling
  • (2005) Macau's Banco Delta Asia was accused of being "a willing pawn for the North Korean government to engage in corrupt financial activities", caused a run on the bank
  • (2005) Macau government began construction of over 8,000 social housing apartments
  • (2006) Local residents rioted in protests against outsiders who were taking jobs from middle-aged Macanese
  • (2006) Government official, Ao Man Long, found guilty of bribe-taking, sentenced to prison
  • (2006) Macau overtook Las Vegas as world's strongest casino market
  • (2007) Rally against labor shortages turned violent
  • (2008) Typhoon Neoguri swept through Macau, forced over 200,000 to evacuate
  • (2009) Macau passed its own version of China's Article 23, banning sedition
  • (2009) Fernando Chui became chief executive of Macau in the first leadership change since 1999
  • (2010) Protests about universal suffrage, housing prices, took place on the anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty
  • (2010) Macau labor protest against alleged corruption and illegal labor occurred
  • (2011) Gambling revenues were $33 billion
  • (2012) Ng Man-sun, a senior figure in Macau's gambling industry was severely beaten by six men in a restaurant
  • (2013) Gambling revenue increased to about $46 billion
  • (2014) Some of the world's largest casino operators announced expansion plans

Macao Photographs

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.