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Sunday, 19 December, 1999, 19:40 GMT
In pictures: Macau returns to China

Portugal on Sunday returned Macau to China, bringing an end to over 400 years of European colonial rule in south-east Asia.



The Portuguese flag above Government Palace

The Portuguese flag flutters above the Government Palace for the last time.


Portugeuse flag comes down

Police officers fold the Portuguese flag after a ceremony at the palace ending 442 years of colonial rule.


Children wave Chinese flag

Around 98% of Macau people are ethnic Chinese and most are happy to be joining the mainland.


ceremony

The handover ceremony was attended by 2,500 guests, including Chinese and Portuguese officials, businessmen, Catholic clergy and Buddhist monks.




Chinese soldiers march in with the Chinese flag shortly before midnight.




Macau's new Chief Executive Edmund Ho and outgoing Governor Vasco Joaquim Rocha Vieira embrace in a farewell hug.


Beijing celebrations

Beijingers take to the streets during celebrations in the Chinese capital to mark the return of Macau to the motherland.


soldiers Macau

People's Liberation Army soldiers prepare to enter Macau from the mainland city of Zhuhai.
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