Beijing, China, 24 June – Macau plans to increase its area for a 40-year period, by leasing land from the neighbouring province of Guangdong Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.
The lease, which has been under discussion at the People’s Assembly in Beijing, involves the lease of 1.1 square kilometres of land on Hengqin Island (Zhuhai municipality) for the next 40 years, with a view to building part of Macau University there.
Macau, whose economy mainly depends on its casinos, covers an area of 29.2 square kilometres (at the end of 2007) and has a population of 546,000 people with a population density (18,700 inhabitants per square kilometre) three times higher than that of neighbouring Hong Kong, which is also having a problem with a lack of space.
Macau University, which has 6,000 students, is already overcrowded in its area of 0.5 square kilometres.
If the lease is approved, the University of Macau will continue o restrict the number of Chinese students entering the university as both Macau and Hong Kong are ruled by their own residency laws that make them relatively independent of Mainland China.
The only precedent for this type of lease occurred in 2006 when Hong Kong was granted the right to use part of the neighbouring city of Shenzhen to extend its port facilities. (macauhub)