quarta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2016

Letter from Macao: The New Yorker 1976

"Thirty years ago, when I first visited this picturesque far eastern province of Portugal (...)" é assim que começa o artigo Letter from Macao , da autoria de Robert Shaplen, publicado na edição de 4 de Outubro de 1976 da The New Yorker. (Imagem da capa)
Resumo do artigo:
Macao was a Portuguese colony. Now the Portuguese are holding it in trust for China indefinitely as "a special territory". This odd but amicable arrangement is the result of a tacit compromise between Lisbon & Peking. It is hard to tell how long this arrangement will endure, but the chances are that it may go on until 1997, which is when the British colony of Hong Kong, 40 miles to the east, is supposed to revert to China, at the expiration of a 99-year lease. Peking is in no hurry to take over either of the colonies-whose fortunes, both economic & political, are closely linked-because trade & remittances of funds from overseas Chinese funnelled through Communist banks in the British crown colony and, to a lesser extent, through brances of those banks in Macao, provide it with almost half of its foreign-exchange income of 3 billion dollars a year. Hong Kong and Macao also serve the Chinese as useful political listening posts & as important points of contact with Westerners. Gives history of Macao. Dominated by the Chinese business community, some of whom commute to Hong Kong by hydrofoil, and to a lesser extent by a Catholic bishop & priests, Macao retains an essential conservatism. Tells about Chinese businessmen: Ho Yin & O Ching Ping, and Col. Jose Garcia Leandro, the Portuguese governor. Also tells about local govt. & economics. Most of Macao's resources are derived from gambling & other tourist attractions.
Robert Modell Shaplen nasceu em 1917 nos EUA e morreu em 1988 com 71 anos. Foi jornalista do The New York Herald Tribune e correspondente na Ásia para as revistas Newsweek (durante a segunda guerra mundial), Fortune e Collier. Em 1946 esteve com Mao Zedong na montanhas de Yanan, por exemplo, e em 1956 visitou Macau pela primeira vez. Trabalhou na revista The New Yorker durante 36 anos sendo correspondente no Extremo Oriente entre 1962 e 1978. Escreveu 10 livros tendo a Ásia como tema central.
No livro de contos “A Corner of the World” (1949) escreveu: "(...)Wherever you went in the East, people talked about Macao as a place of sin and revelry, but you didn’t really start hearing the facts until you reached Hong Kong (...)"

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