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Belt, Road key for Portugal ties

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2018-12-06 03:28
President Xi Jinping (L) meets with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Lisbon, Portugal, on Dec 5, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Cooperation agreements signed as president finishes four-country tour

China and Portugal signed cooperation documents covering such areas as trade, culture, science and the Belt and Road Initiative during President Xi Jinping's state visit on Wednesday.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Xi and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa. The two leaders met with reporters afterward.

The two nations signed a memorandum of understanding on jointly building the Belt and Road.

Xi told the reporters that he had sincere and fruitful talks with Costa, and the two leaders reached a wide range of consensuses. The visit has achieved numerous results and great success, Xi said.

The two countries will deepen cooperation in economy, trade, culture, education, tourism, science, sports and media, Xi said, adding that they will also expand maritime cooperation.

China and Portugal will be dedicated to improving the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Europe, enhancing cooperation under multilateral frameworks such as the UN, and jointly safeguarding multilateralism and global trade, Xi said.

President Xi Jinping (L) meets with Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, president of the Portuguese parliament, in Lisbon, Portugal, Dec 5, 2018.[Photo/Xinhua]

Xi also met with the president of Portugal's parliament, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, on Wednesday before his meeting with the prime minister.

While meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Tuesday, Xi called on the two countries to forge ahead with cooperation under the Belt and Road framework and facilitate connectivity.

China and Portugal should strengthen multilateral coordination, enhance communication on major international and regional issues and jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade, Xi said.

President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, stand with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Tuesday at Belem Palace, the official presidential residence in Lisbon, Portugal. PEDRO NUNES / REUTERS

He called on the two nations to advance high-level exchanges, to strengthen exchanges between the two governments, legislative bodies, political parties, local areas and nongovernmental bodies, and to deepen political mutual trust.

The two countries should expand pragmatic cooperation, enlarge and strengthen existing projects, enhance bilateral trade and create more cooperative aspects for further growth, Xi said.

Xi noted an ancient Chinese saying — "A partnership forged with the right approach defies geographical distance; it bonds better than glue and is stronger than metal and stone" — and added that that's the kind of good friends and partners the two countries are.

China firmly supports the integration process in Europe and hopes that Portugal continues to play an active role within the European Union to ensure the development of China-EU ties in a correct direction, Xi said.

Rebelo de Sousa said both countries support multilateralism and oppose unilateralism, and both support free trade and oppose protectionism. Portugal is looking forward to deepening exchanges and cooperation with China in such areas as economy, trade, finance and culture, he said.

Rebelo de Sousa hosted a grand ceremony for Xi before their talks. The two leaders met with reporters after the talks. Xi also laid a wreath at the tomb of famous Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes inside Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon.

On Tuesday evening, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, together with the Portuguese president, visited an exhibition of cultural relics, "The Forbidden City and the Maritime Silk Road", on temporary display at a museum.

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