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Macau ponders future even as tourists and gamblers return

Tourists from mainland China stroll down a street in Macau.

MACAU: Macau’s streets were packed in the run-up to the Lunar New Year after pandemic controls were abruptly lifted but it is far from business as usual as the Chinese casino hub wrestles with questions about its future.

Mainland Chinese tourists filled winding passages leading up to the historic Ruins of Saint Paul’s, and stores selling local snacks like almond cookies and meat jerky had trouble keeping up.

“We don’t have enough goods for this Lunar New Year as we didn’t expect this,” a business owner surnamed Li told AFP.

Tourists may now be back, but Beijing wants the former Portuguese colony to diversify its casinos-reliant economy.

President Xi Jinping has led a…

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