China (Traditional Chinese: 中國; Simplified Chinese: 中国; Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōngguó (help·info); Tongyong Pinyin: Jhongguó; Gwoyeu Romatzyh: Jonggwo) is a cultural region and ancient civilization in East Asia. As a result of the 1949 Chinese Civil War, China today is administratively divided into two states: the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC). The PRC administers and governs the majority of China (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau), while the ROC administers the island groups of Taiwan, the Pescadores, Kinmen, Matsu, and the disputed islands of Pratas, and Taiping in the South China Sea. However, the People's Republic of China considers Taiwan a "renegade province" and does not recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan). In contrast, the Republic of China (Taiwan) administers themselves as an independent sovereign state and does not recognize the Beijing-based People's Republic of China.
The Macau Special Administrative Region, commonly known as Macau or Macao, was established on December 20, 1999, as one of the two special administrative regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the other being Hong Kong. For 442 years it was ruled by Portugal, making it the oldest European colony in the history of East Asia.
Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century. After the Opium War in 1841, most of the foreign merchants in Macau left for Hong Kong, and as a result business and economic activities in Macau declined. Administered by Portugal until the handover in 1999, it was the oldest European colony in China. Since then Macau has developed industries such as textiles, electronics and toys, as well as a notable tourist industry, which boasts a wide range of hotels, resorts, stadiums, restaurants and casinos. What remains unchanged through Macau's history is Macau's strong economic links with Hong Kong, one of the East Asian Tigers and the Pearl River Delta region in mainland China. With a good foundation and infrastructure, Macau provides good financial and banking services, staff training, transport and communications support.