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Portugal’s prime minister on Wednesday said that the country will always guarantee a relationship of trust with China, whether bilaterally or as part of the European Union, based on the countries’ five centuries of coexistence.
António Costa made the comment after a meeting at the palace of Queluz in Lisbon with the president of China, Xi Jinping, and after the two governments signed 17 bilateral agreements.
Costa said that Xi’s state visit to Portugal, which ended on Wednesday afternoon, takes place at a “particularly important moment when, next year, we mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries and 20 years after the return to China of the administration of the territory of Macau.”
The two countries’ relationship “is founded on more than five centuries of coexistence and a mutual trust that has been confirmed and reaffirmed,” he said. “In the bilateral framework and the European Union, we are always a guarantor of the relationship of trust with the People’s Republic of China.”
The prime minister was addressing journalists, who were given no opportunity to put questions.
According to Costa, after Xi’s visit to Portugal “the conditions are in place for the further reinforcement of bilateral relations from economic, cultural or people to people points of view”.
Turning to Xi, he then expressed the expectation that a planned state visit to China by Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, next April – already announced – will see “the continuation of very intense relations between our governments.”
Earlier, Xi had also promised to bolster existing projects between Portugal and China and defended multilateralism in international affairs, free trade and peace, in a statement with simultaneous translation into Portuguese.
Bilateral relations, he said, “are at their best historic moment”.
After their statements, the two men skirted protocol by strolling alone at length through the palace gardens.Source: Lusa