Today marks the 10th anniversary of the official handover of the colony of Macau from Portugal to the People's Republic of China. Macau was first claimed by the Kingdom of Portugal in 1513 by explorers dispatched by King Manuel I, a time of great exploration and expansion for Portugal. The official status of the territory was somewhat ambiguous and went through several changes over the centuries in different treaties and agreements. The Great Qing Empire recognized Portuguese ownership but with the proviso that Portugal could not turn the colony over to any other country without Manchu approval. The coming to power of the communist party in China brought with it renewed calls for the return of all foreign held territory to China, the communists denouncing British control of Hong Kong and Portuguese control of Macau as the results of aggressive conquest and unequal treaties (somewhat rich coming from a government whose rule itself was based on aggressive conquest). During the corporatist regime of Salazar the colony of Macau was declared an overseas province of Portugal and there were concerns that Salazar would oppose any effort by the Red Chinese to take Macau back. However, following the "Carnation Revolution" the corporatist regime was overthrown in a coup d'etat and China was offered Macau then. The Chinese said they were unprepared to accept sovereignty and so it was put off to December 20, 1999 when the official handover ceremony took place. The Portuguese flag was lowered, the red flag was raised and the last European foothold on China passed into the pages of history. The loss of Macau marked the end of the Portuguese colonial empire, the longest lasting in history spanning from the capture of Cueta in 1415 to the handover of Macau in 1999.