Chinese prime minister to visit Portugal on Dec. 9 and 10

1 December 2005

Beijing, China, 01 Dec – The Chinese government is planning to increase its bilateral relationship with Portugal to the status of “strategic partnership” during a visit by the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Portugal on December 9 and 10, a government spokesperson said Wednesday.

Portugal thus joins Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain in the group of European countries to which China has granted “strategic partner” status.

“We will increase the relationship between Portugal and China to the level of “Global Strategic Partnership”, as part of a joint declaration to be issued by the governments of both countries,” said Zhao Jun, director-general of the Department of European Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, in a press conference ahead of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s European visit.

Portugal and China would also signed several cooperation agreements relating to law and the protection of investments, said Zhao Jun,
Adding that some details had to be agreed before the prime minister’s arrival in Portugal.

According to Chinese official figures bilateral trade between Portugal and china totaled US$908 million in the first nine months of 2005, against a total of US$869 million in the whole of 2004.

The Chinese prime minister will meet with Portugal’s president, Jorge Sampaio, Prime Minister José Sócrates and the President of the Portuguese parliament, Jaime Gama. He is due to take part in several activities relating to education, trade and culture.

Wen Jiabao’s Portuguese visit is part of a European tour covering the Czech Republic, Slovakia and France.

The Chinese prime minister’s visit to Portugal had been planned for October, but was delayed due to the prime minister’s commitments in China.(macauhub)