China wants its relationship with Portugal to move into a new phase

16 May 2014

China is “willing to work hand in hand with Portugal” to promote “a new phase” in two-way relations, China’s President, Xi Jinping said Thursday in Beijing.

At the end of talks with Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva, Xi said that Chinese-Portuguese relations were characterised by “good political trust,” “pragmatic cooperation” and “intense exchange in the social and cultural areas.”

“We have decided to maintain high level contacts, deepen mutual trust and intensify communication about important regional and international matters, establishing an increasingly solid political base for the two-way relationship,” the Chinese president said about his meeting with Cavaco Silva, according to news agencies.

Noting that this year was the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Portugal and China, the Chinese president said that the two nations had had “mutual respect” and “namely had solved the question of Macau, which was an example to the world.”

On China’s behalf President Xi praised Portugal for being able to overcome the sovereign debt crisis and gave assurances that China would continue to support Portugal by expanding trade and two-way investment, promoting cooperation in sectors such as energy, finance and environmental protection.

The Chinese President also mentioned exploring possibilities for three-way cooperation in Africa and Latin America via a mechanism such as the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, in order to contribute to the stability and sustainable development of those regions.

Hailing Portugal as “a good partner for China in the European Union,” Xi said he hoped that Portugal could continue to have a constructive role in establishing a global strategic partnership between China and the European Union.

The Chinese President made the statements after the two presidents attended the signing of seven cooperation agreements on education, science, culture, sport and other areas, as well as between companies.

One of the agreements focuses on “closing the privatisation process” of Caixa Seguros, in which Chinese private group Fosun now has an 80 percent stake and another to increase “strategic and cooperation relations” between Portuguese power group Energias de Portugal (EDP) and its main shareholder China Three Gorges.

President Cavaco Silva said that Portugal-China relations had developed positively since transfer of Macau’s administration in 1999, “which showed the political wisdom of both countries.”

Cavaco Silva arrived in China last Monday for a week-long visit at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, and before arriving in Beijing he visited Shanghai and is due to travel to Macau at the weekend before returning to Portugal. (macauhub/CN/PT)