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China 2.0

How China's Corrupt Are Making Macau Rich

Ahead of the anniversary of Macau passing under Beijing's control, and a delicate visit from Xi Jinping, a closer look at the troubling formula of the former Portuguese colony.

The Sands Macau casino
The Sands Macau casino
Federico Varese

MACAU — President Xi Jinping's visit to Macao to mark the 15th anniversary of the former Portuguese colony returning to Chinese sovereignty won't be any kind of victory lap. China's leader is worried about the growing financial crime in the region, where it is estimated that $202 billion is recycled through the peninsula's casinos every year.

This immense sum comes from the People's Republic as well. Party officials and directors of public companies spend bribes they accumulate during the year at the gaming tables and sauna-brothels in Macau's many hotels, while the rest is used to buy real estate, companies and government bonds in the West.

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Macron, Draghi and Scholz assessing the damage near Kyiv

Kay Nietfeld/dpa via ZUMA
Anna Akage

Which of today's world leaders provides the full support Ukraine truly needs? Who plays into Putin's hands? Who's caught in the middle, and lacks the courage to choose sides?

With an overdue visit to Kyiv Thursday by three of Europe’s top leaders, Emmanuel Macron of France, Olaf Scholz of Germany and Mario Draghi of Italy, those questions were whispered far from the photo ops. The question of the solidity of its alliances are life-and-death for Kyiv, facing a much stronger military in an existential war against Russia.

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Ukraine has so far received about 10% of the military aid it needs from Western partners to counter Russian aggression, Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar said Tuesday during a television fundraising drive.

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