China and Portugal pledged on Wednesday to jointly push for the construction of the Strip and the Road to strengthen connectivity between Asia and Europe and promote international trade.
The consensus was reached during a meeting in Lisbon between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa.
Xi said at the meeting that after the official visit of Prime Minister Costa to China two years ago, the important consensus reached between both parties has translated into concrete results of cooperation, while bidirectional trade shows a strong growth impetus and Investment cooperation in key areas is progressing smoothly.
Currently, Sino-Portuguese relations are entering their best period in history and have new opportunities for development, said Xi.
China wants to work with the Portuguese side to raise its comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, the president added.
For the next stage, said Xi, the two sides should increase high-level visits, as well as exchanges at all levels and in all fields, and work together to obtain more practical results through the joint promotion of the initiative. of the Strip and the Route, thus playing a positive role in strengthening Asia-Europe connectivity.
Xi proposed that the two parties expand cooperation in finance, investment, aviation, automobiles and new energies, promote the implementation of more cooperation projects and explore third markets for shared profit.
He also called on the two sides to increase cooperation in culture, education, tourism, science and technology, and medicine.
Xi stressed that China and Portugal should increase coordination and cooperation in the international arena, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and oppose protectionism and unilateralism together.
Xi also expressed the hope that Portugal can continue to play a positive role in boosting China-Europe relations in the right direction.
For his part, Costa said that President Xi's state visit has great historical significance.
Costa mentioned that the two countries have maintained a long history of traditional friendship and have built a good mutual trust.
The Portuguese side, said the premier, thanked China for its support to help the country maintain financial stability, and wanted to take this visit as an opportunity to join forces with China in order to raise bilateral ties to a higher level.
Costa reiterated that Portugal advocates openness, cooperation and free trade.
Lisbon is ready to participate actively in the initiative of the Strip and the Route, because it can not only help to promote friendship and cooperation between the two peoples, but also promote trade and investment between the two countries, he abounded.
In addition, this initiative can also contribute to the promotion of connectivity, partnership and confidence in Asia-Europe, and to the promotion of international trade, which, in Costa's opinion, will bring benefits for people all over the world.
Portugal is preparing to stimulate cooperation with China in infrastructure, finance, automobiles and science and technology, he said.
Costa highlighted the attachment of Chinese companies in Portugal to local laws and regulations, and assured that his country welcomes that China invest in Portuguese territory and increase its production and manufacturing here.
Lisbon also wants to expand third-party cooperation with Beijing in Africa and other regions, through the Forum of Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, said the Portuguese Prime Minister.
Portugal hopes to improve communication and coordination with China, when addressing climate change and other global issues, and safeguard multilateralism together, he said.
Costa said that his country is willing to play a greater role in strengthening cooperation and mutual trust between Europe and China.
After the meeting, the two leaders met with the press.
Xi said that his visit was fruitful and a total success, injecting fresh and firm momentum to the comprehensive China-Portugal strategic partnership.
Portugal is the fourth and last stop on Xi's current trip through Europe and Latin America, which has also taken him to Spain, Argentina and Panama. In the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, Xi also attended the XIII Summit of Leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20).
Xi told reporters that throughout the tour, he has deeply felt the good wishes and fervent expectations of the people of the world towards international peace and stability, towards national development and prosperity, as well as towards a happy life and a work for your own benefit.
Despite the various challenges and problems facing the world, Xi pointed out, China will always follow the principles of mutual respect and equitable consultation and seek peaceful development and cooperation of shared profits, so that it will work with other countries. to build together a destiny community of humanity.
After the meeting between Xi and Costa, the two governments signed a series of cooperation documents, including a memorandum of understanding aimed at jointly promoting the construction of the Strip and the Road, and another cooperation in science and technology.
The two countries also issued a joint statement on Wednesday in which they pledged to further strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership, now that next year will be the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
In view of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Portugal decided to hold cultural festivals in each other's territory during 2019. They also agreed to provide mutual support for the creation of cultural centers.
According to the joint statement, the two sides will reinforce their Blue Association to facilitate maritime cooperation and boost the maritime economy of their own countries.
The two countries will also jointly promote the services of more direct flights, the document reads.
In addition, China and Portugal agreed to begin negotiations for a bilateral social security agreement in the first half of 2019.
The president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, will attend the second edition of the Forum of the Strip and the Road for International Cooperation, to be held in April 2019 in Beijing, and will make a state visit to China at the invitation of the president Xi, was indicated in the joint statement.