was handed back to China at midnight on December 19, 1999. The handover
itself was sealed with an eight-second handshake by the presidents
of the People's Republic of China and the Portuguese Republic, Jiang
Zemin and Jorge Sampaio.
One of the most applauded moments during the half-hour handover ceremony was the embrace of Gen. Vasco Rocha Vieira, the last Portuguese governor of Macau, and Edmund Ho Hau Wah, the first Chief Executive of the MSAR.
Several hours before the Sino-Portuguese handover ceremony, the Portuguese flag at the Praia Grande Macau Government Palace was lowered for the last time. Macau's last Portuguese governor, Gen. Vasco RochaVieira, clutched the folded flag to his chest and took a final glance at the palace before he stepped into a black limousine that took him to other handover-related events.
amicable handshake followed a solemn flag ceremony in which the
Portuguese flag was lowered just before midnight on December 19,
1999, to mark the end of 442 years of Portuguese administration.
The Chinese flag was raised exactly at midnight to mark the establishment
of the autonomous Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) on
December 20, 1999, as agreed by the two nations when they signed
the Sino Portuguese Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau in
Beijing in April 1987.
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