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Xi flatters Macao in bid to sell 'one country, two systems'

Charm offensive stands in contrast to Hong Kong cold shoulder

Children welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping at Macau International Airport on Dec. 18. The leader showed off his friendly side during the trip to the territory.   © Reuters

BEIJING/MACAO -- Call it a Chinese tale of two cities. As pro-democracy protests rage in Hong Kong, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday heaped praise on Macao -- the other, less fractious city under the "one country, two systems" model.

The former Portuguese colony, known for its casinos, has served as a model for the Communist Party since being handed back to China 20 years ago. Xi appeared determined to keep it that way during his trip here to celebrate the big anniversary this week.

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