Disagreement is looming between China and the United States over post-handover Macau as Washington seeks to formalise uncertain future ties with the enclave. Clinton administration officials are warning that they will redouble efforts in the spring to have laws passed through Congress to cover any future dealings while also providing a political symbol of US interest in Macau's future. Based on the controversial Hong Kong Policy Act that governs relations between the US and the SAR, China seems certain to object, however. 'We will brook no foreign intervention,' said Yu Shuning, minister-counsellor at the Chinese embassy in Washington when asked about China's attitude to any Macau Policy Act. 'Our position is clear . . . the issue of Macau and the affairs of Macau will be purely China's domestic affairs,' he said, while stressing the enclave would be allowed to keep its autonomy under the Hong Kong SAR model. The Clinton administration had been hoping to get the Macau Policy Act safely in place before the handover but drafts were not dealt with before Congress broke up for Christmas. Lisbon also had been keen for the law to pass as a show of support for Macau's freedoms, culture and autonomy. One US official said: 'The lack of a law has left us in quite an unprecedented situation and we would much rather have a law in place to guide our future ties. 'We see such a law as an important political message. We want there to be no question that we are behind Macau's continued independence under the SAR system.' However, some aides on Capitol Hill warned there was very little interest in pushing a Macau bill through in the current environment of strained Sino-US relations. While the US has far fewer interests in Macau than Hong Kong, it still has law enforcement and Customs links, an aviation agreement and a US$1 billion textile trade that forms an important part of the economy. State Department lawyers believe Macau's textile quota - currently its biggest revenue earner outside gambling - will remain independent from the mainland as the enclave is a member of the World Trade Organisation in its own right.