Apart from the May 29th Incident, labour movements taking place near Macao (Macau) in the early 20th century also affected the city. During the Canton-Hong Kong strike between 1925 and 1926, Macao rendered support in the form of demonstration, but it was not large-scale enough to trigger a strike there. However, due to Macao’s close ties with the Canton-Hong Kong area, its impact still struck Macao’s economy even there was not any major local labour unrest.
After the Northern Expedition succeeded in 1928, the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China signed the Sino-Portuguese Friendship and Trade Treaty (《中葡友好通商條約》) with Portugal. The disputes over Macao’s boundaries continued.
Portuguese internal affairs influenced Macao. The military coup launched by the Portuguese military on 28 May 1926 was followed by António de Oliveira Salazar’s decades-spanning dictatorship. The new regime tightened regulations on Portuguese overseas territories, including stricter media censorship and supervision of unions.
Macao’s Inner Harbour was crucial to its foreign trade in the early 20th century. The Canton-Hong Kong strike between 1925 and 1926 was a heavy blow to Macao’s commerce and economy. (Collection of Mr. Lei Kun-min, Macao In Postcards, 19th & 20th Centuries, published by Macao Association for Historical Education, cited from “Macau Memory”, Macao Foundation)
The Border Gate in Macao was an important passage connecting Macao and mainland China in the early 20th century. Macao’s economy stagnated when the Canton-Hong Kong Strike Committee ordered to seal Macao off during the general strike. (Collection of Mr. Lei Kun-min, Macao In Postcards, 19th & 20th Centuries, published by Macao Association for Historical Education, cited from “Macau Memory”, Macao Foundation)
The pickets were a major force to keep Hong Kong and Macao sealed off during the Canton-Hong Kong strike. The photo shows them patrolling on the Pearl River. The Canton-Hong Kong Strike Committee ended the blockade and removed the pickets on 10 October 1926.
Wang Tingzhang (王廷璋) was the Chinese Ambassador to Portugal who took office in February 1926. The Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking (《中葡和好通商條約》) signed in 1887 was due to expire in 1927 when a bilateral renewal was afoot. In 1927, Wang proposed Portugal to revise the unequal terms in the treaty and return Macao. Even if Macao would not be returned, Wu maintained, its administration needed improvements, including bans on opium and gambling, and permission for China to send business officials to Macao. However, Portugal was slow to respond.
A Photo of the premier, vice-premier, and ministers of the Executive Yuan (行政院) of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China taken at their inauguration ceremony on 25 October 1928. After the Northern Expedition succeeded, the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China made Nanjing (南京) its capital and issued a declaration for renewing treaties and abolishing unequal provisions.
The Portuguese Minister to China João António de Bianchi (on the left in the front in white uniform with a mace) arriving at Macao on 31 October 1928 to discuss the boundary survey of Macao with the Governor of Macao Artur Tamagnini de Sousa Barbosa (on the right at the back in darker suit).
Wang Zhengting (王正廷), the Foreign Minister of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China. Wang and the Portuguese Minister to China João António de Bianchi signed the Sino-Portuguese Friendship and Trade Treaty on 19 December 1928.
The Sino-Portuguese Friendship and Trade Treaty in Portuguese and Chinese.
The military coup on 28 May 1926 ended the First Portuguese Republic.
The military coup resulted in António de Oliveira Salazar’s decades-spanning dictatorship, during which Portugal tightened its control over Macao.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Alex Lou, Vice Chairman of Macao Cultural Heritage Association (picture 6), Macao Foundation (pictures 1 and 2), Fotoe (pictures 3, 4, 5, and 7), and misc. photo sources.