Talks on stationing troops in Macau ahead of the handover are making progress, Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama said in Beijing yesterday. 'We are negotiating and we are making progress, but we have not finished yet,' Mr Gama said after talks with President Jiang Zemin. The mainland had asked Portugal for help in preparing for the stationing of a garrison in Macau, including an advance guard. Mr Gama said both sides had still to 'clarify the terms of reference' about the garrison before they could discuss details. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau, signed in 1987, does not specifically mention the stationing of a Chinese garrison in Macau after the handover. It merely states that the central Government will be responsible for Macau's national defence after its reversion from Portuguese to Chinese administration. Portugal disbanded its garrison in Macau in 1975. Beijing announced the stationing of a garrison in Macau last year, insisting that the move amounted to a 'symbol' of Macau's return to Chinese rule, apart from 'contributing to social stability.'