Macao, including the Macao Peninsula, Taipa Island and Coloane Island, has been part of the territory of China since ancient times; it was gradually occupied by Portugal after the mid16th century. On 13 April 1987, the Chinese and Portuguese Governments signed the Joint Declaration on the Question of Macao, affirming that the Government of the People' s Republic of China will resume the exercise of sovereignty over Macao with effect from 20 December 1999, thus fulfilling the longcherished common aspiration of the Chinese people for the recovery of Macao.
Upholding national unity and territorial integrity, contributing to social stability and economic development, and taking account of its history and realities, the People' s Republic of China has decided that upon China's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Macao, a Macao Special Administrative Region will be established in accordance with the provisions of Article 31 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, and that under the principle of " one country, two systems", the socialist system and policies will not be practised in Macao. The basic policies of the People's Republic of China regarding Macao have been elaborated by the Chinese Government in the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration .
In accordance with the Constitution of the People' s Republic of China, the National People' s Congress hereby enacts the Basic Law of the Macao Special`Administrative Region of the People' s Republic of China, prescribing the Systems to be practised in the Macao Special Administrative Region, in order to ensure the implementation of the basic policies of the Peoples Republic of China regarding Macau.