Beijing has rebuked Macao for planning a new college affiliated to a Portuguese university.
Macao, which since 1976 has been legally a "special territory" of China under Portuguese administration, is due to be transferred to Chinese rule in December 1999.
Beijing's objection is that the Portuguese cannot complete the project before 1999, and that the Portuguese Macao government should have consulted Beijing.
Macao has a population of over 355,000 and about 6,000 students in higher education. Like Hong Kong, it will be a "special administrative region", playing a key role in China's economic development.