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DEFINITION of 'Special Administrative Region - SAR'

Unique geographical areas with a high degree of autonomy set up by the People's Republic of China. The Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of Hong Kong and Macau, which were formerly British and Portuguese colonies until 1997 and 1999 respectively, were set up in accordance with the "one country, two systems" concept proposed by Deng Xiaoping. The two SARs enjoy a great deal of autonomy, with responsibility for most areas of government - including executive, legislative and judicial - except for defense and diplomatic relations.

BREAKING DOWN 'Special Administrative Region - SAR'

The continued prosperity of Hong Kong and Macau under China is proof of the success of the SAR concept. Despite the vast differences in social systems and ideologies between the capitalist-based system of the SARs and the socialist system of China, the entire region has managed to maintain its rapid pace of economic growth, which ranks among the fastest-growing in the world.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Why did China designated certain territories as special administrative regions?

    Discover why China designated certain territories as special administrative regions and the freedoms each SAR enjoys as an ... Read Answer >>
  2. What makes China's special administrative regions (SAR) so special?

    Learn why China's special administrative regions are special and why they have many of the same characteristics of independent ... Read Answer >>
  3. What legal privileges do residents of special administrative regions (SAR) have that ...

    Citizens of SARs enjoy the autonomy of a capitalist and free society that is outside the influence of the socialist regime ... Read Answer >>
  4. How autonomous are special administrative regions?

    Read about the unique independence and governing laws concerning the two Chinese special administrative regions, or SARs: ... Read Answer >>
  5. Does China have the equivalent of other special administrative regions (SAR) outside ...

    Find out about the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau and other places in China that offer tax incentives ... Read Answer >>
  6. Can a special administrative region declare autonomy?

    Learn more about the "one government, two systems" approach used by the People's Republic of China with respect to Hong Kong ... Read Answer >>
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