By Herbert S. Yee (auth.)
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Extra info for Macau in Transition: From Colony to Autonomous Region
One particular issue which the Portuguese refused to include in the agenda was the question of the Orient Foundation. The Orient Foundation was registered in Lisbon in 1988 and its aim was to develop Portuguese culture and its continuity in the Orient. 48 In the end, the Portuguese side agreed to discuss the issue at JLG meetings. 50 In the final two years of the transition process, disputes between the two sides became open in press conferences held after the JLG meetings. This was in sharp contrast to the early years of the transi- Beijing’s Attitude toward Transition 13 tion process when differences between the two sides were disguised under the banner of Sino-Portuguese friendship.
This provisions in the Organic Statute facilitated the recruitment of Portuguese expatriates to the enclave’s civil service. Indeed, in the 1980s and the early 1990s about 10 per cent of Macau’s civil servants were recruited from Portugal or its former colonies in Africa and Asia. The Portuguese expatriates had occupied most of the upper echelons in the bureaucratic hierarchy until the eve of handover. However, the stipulations of Articles 69 and 70 had also served as a basis for the later government scheme to integrate those local civil servants who had little confidence in post-1999 Macau to Portugal’s civil service system.
Deadlocks over issues of nationality and the stationing of PLA troops in the territory were resolved at summit meetings between Beijing and Lisbon leaders. However, the actual monitoring of the process of transition was the responsibility of the SinoPortuguese Joint Liaison Group. Since the Group’s inception in early 20 Macau in Transition 1988 it had held 37 general meetings and numerous sub-committee meetings. The Joint Liaison Group had discussed such nagging issues as the pace of localization, nationality, the Orient Foundation, retirement fund, bilingual policy and preparations for the handover.