Back to China

The return of Macau to Chinese rule after 450 years as a Portuguese enclave marks the end of an era, observes the centrist Yomiuri Shimbun of Tokyo on Dec. 12. With the handover, there will be no more colonies in Asia. The era of Asian colonization by West European nations will become a thing of the past.

Now, reporters from across Asia speculate, China is likely to turn its attention to Taiwan. Yomiuri Shimbun says that China now seems to be focusing on Taiwan as its next target and is reinforcing its strategies toward unification.

The Xinhua News Agency of Beijing supported this view in an editorial dated Dec. 10. Macao's return to China has been hailed as a milestone in the process of China's reunification, which is expected to be completed with the reunification of Taiwan with its motherland.

But Chinese officials know that Taiwan is a special case, as Xinhua says: If Taiwan is reunified with its motherland, more flexible policies than those applied in Hong Kong and Macao will be implemented there. For instance, it may maintain its own armed forces.