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It has already passed 10 years since Hong Kong and Macao were returned to China. Yokohama celebrates her 150th anniversary this year. For me, the process and history of Hong Kong and Yokohama are quite similar. Perhaps, it is natural, the causes and results of our modern history are similar. Tokyo and Macao started their developments at the same time. Was it just a coincident or a natural result? When I consider the role of the guns in Japanese 16th century, it could be defined as a matter of contingency and its natural inevitable development, just as our lives. 500 years ago, nobody questioned that a nation expanded its territory by force often under the cover motto of religious missions. The invaders and the slaughterers were the heroes at home and in church. 150 years ago, to be hindered the narcotics trade and the addicts$B!G(B promotion were good and decent reason to open a war. Today, the military forces are common means to secure the resources of the fossil energy.
When Hong Kong and Macao were returned to China, they lost their functions; i.e. for China, the gates to the western civilization, and for their suzerains, the bases and terminals to control and to secure the Chinese market and resources. Isn$B!G(Bt it logical and ironical? Now they must survive as the consumers$B!G(B and tourists$B!G(B paradise. The huge container terminal of Hong Kong runs only a third of its capacity. Macao had one casino under Portuguese period. Today there are 30 casinos and still increasing.
I have been in Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian and many other places in China.
I presumed that to travel to Hong Kong and Macao couldn$B!G(Bt be so different from to the China main land since these places have been a part of China for 10 years. But both Hong Kong and Macao were not China. There is a period of transition. For 50 years, a system so called $B!H(BOne country, two systems$B!I(B is applied. There are still 40 years of the period left. The currency in Hong Kong is Hong Kong Dollar and in Macao is Pataca. If you like, you can try to use US Dollars, Japanese Yen and Chinese Yuan. And it would work at big hotels or shops, but you might not feel so happy losing exchange rate every time. If you really want to try the local noodle restaurant, only Pataca is available, and at the casinos strictly only Pataca.
The reason of nation$B!G(Bs existence is getting weaker. The world of economy has been united and we are forced to meet its hard consequences. In the field of education and entertainment, there is no border. Some nations are trying to hold their identity by keeping hard their own individual language. But do you know how may nations use English or Spanish? Do the nations defend the stability of the currency? But the EU nations have one and common currency $B!H(BEuro$B!I(B and the languages are many. Is the military power mastered by its own nation? But here again EU nations have common forces.
At the Olympic Games and at the world cup, we can feel and taste the dignity of each of our nations. The sports world is so simple and understandable.