Portuguese President: Portugal-China relations at best period in history

By Feng Xuejun, Zhang Yuannan, People’s Daily

Portugal-China relations are exceptional, and are at the best period in history, said Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in an interview with People’s Daily,ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Portugal. He also expressed his hope that Xi’s visit will inject new vitality into Portugal-China relations.

Rebelo de Sousa said, Portugal and China have more than 500 years’ history of communication and people from these two countries know each other well.

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, and in the last 40 years, Portugal-China relations have developed in the fields of economy, finance, education and culture, the president remarked.

Chinese companies now have an active presence in areas like banking, insurance, infrastructure and energy in Portugal, while Portuguese companies are also entering into the Chinese market and partnering with Chinese firms in trade, industry and civil engineering, Rebelo de Sousa noted.

Portugal and China enjoy a close friendship, he said, adding that they can and shall enhance their cooperation, Rebelo de Sousa told People’s Daily.

China has opened its door to the world through Reform and Opening Up, building wide cultural, social, economic and financial connections with other countries. Portugal firmly believes that multilateralism and economic globalization are vital for safeguarding global peace, security, and development, as well as solidarity among people, Rebelo de Sousa noted.

Portuguese are good at building “bridges”, he hopes that Portugal will become a bridge to enhance the link between China and the European Union.

He also pointed out that One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR) proposed by China is complementary with Portugal’s national development strategy. Portugal hopes to seize the opportunity and actively participate in the OBOR construction so as to enhance communication and connectivity between Europe and Asia, he said.

Rebelo de Sousa stressed that mutual trust between China and Portugal is rooted in the high importance placed on bilateral relations by the leaders of both countries and the strong and comprehensive cooperation between these two countries.

Xi’s visit will not only reinforce mutual trust and friendship of the two countries but also achieve positive results, he said.

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