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Collection of historical maps illustrates city uniqueness

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image “Macau Through 500 Years: Emergence and Development of an Untypical Chinese City”

I’m only a technical worker to describe the success (of Macau)”, said Prof. Victor Sit yesterday at the book launching ceremony for his Macau Development Atlas “Macau Through 500 Years: Emergence and Development of an Untypical Chinese City” at the University of Macau (UM).
The honorary research fellow at the UM and Director of the Advanced Institute for Contemporary China Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University has worked on his book for five years. It is a collection of Chinese and foreign historical maps of East Asia and Macau and, as the author explained, “it tells how, in the early 16th century, the Portuguese came to Macau, and developed it into an important hub for commercial and cultural exchanges between the East and the West, and how their interaction with the locals and the mainland over the past five hundred years has contributed to Macau’s evolution into a unique modern city that is a mix of Chinese and Portuguese cultures.”
The book consists of five chapters, the first two being “Changing perspectives of China and the Western world on power at sea,” and “Golden Century (1550-1643)”. Chapter three concerns Macau across two centuries (1644-1844), and chapter four regards the period of 1845-1949. The last chapter charts contemporary Macau and its path “towards a global city of gaming, tourism, and exhibitions from 1950-2010.”
As the author explained, “the purpose of this book is to present the city’s development over the past 500 years through visual aids like maps, different images of the city, graphs and charts.” But he stressed, “it’s not only history, but also the future of Macau’s economic development, especially within the whole national development, that is shown.”
UM rector Wei Zhao again stressed the importance of Macau as a “catalyst to bring cultural and scientific interflow between east and west.” He praised the author’s excellent knowledge in the functions of maps and temporal analysis, as well as his familiarity with the history of China and the world. He also used the opportunity to mention that: “if Professor Sit published the book next year, he would have one more thing to add, and that would be the relocation of the University of Macau to Hengqin.”
The book launch was attended by Chief Executive Chui Sai On. The atlas is published with the sponsorship by UM and the Macau Foundation. It is published in Chinese, English, and Portuguese.           


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