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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister António Costa of Portugal, Stressing to Give Play to Complementary Advantages and Release Cooperation Potential to Forge an Upgraded Version of Cooperation Between China and Portugal as well as Between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries

On the afternoon of October 9, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang held talks at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister António Costa of Portugal, who was on an official visit to China and attending the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Li Keqiang said that since the establishment of China-Portugal diplomatic relationship 37 years ago, bilateral relations have always maintained stable and healthy development. By upholding mutual respect and equal treatment, both sides achieved the smooth transfer of governance over Macao through negotiation, which sets a good example for all countries to deal with issues left over from history as well as opens a new chapter for the rapid development of China-Portugal relations. In the new historical period, the Chinese side is willing to, together with Portugal, maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges and enhance communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, so as to better benefit the two countries and their peoples.

Li Keqiang pointed out that with strong complementary advantages and many interest converging points, the economies of China and Portugal enjoy tremendous cooperation potential. We are willing to actively integrate the “Belt and Road” initiative with the development strategies of Portugal and release the cooperation potential to forge an upgraded version of cooperation between China and Portugal and between China and Portuguese-speaking countries at large. While further improving the level of cooperation in economy, trade and investment, we should focus on consolidating and extending trilateral and multilateral cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries and other wider regions in order to better realize mutual benefit and win-win results. Both countries should strengthen cooperation in infrastructure construction, agricultural products and other fields and show the determination of the two countries to push forward the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment. The two countries should create new cooperation highlights and growth points in energy connectivity, new energy, clean energy and other sectors. It is believed that Portugal will provide a better investment environment and legal protection for investors including Chinese enterprises.

Li Keqiang stressed that China always views the EU from a strategic height and long-term perspective and supports the European integration process. The Chinese side believes that a united, prosperous and stable EU conforms to the interests of all parties and is conducive to world economic recovery as well as the stability of the international financial market. It is hoped that as an important EU member, Portugal will continue to play a positive and constructive role in boosting China-EU relations.

António Costa noted that Portugal and China enjoy long-standing friendship, and bilateral relations have maintained sound development in recent years. The smooth transfer of governance over Macao has set an example for the international community. The Portuguese side is glad to see that Macao has become a favorable platform for Portuguese-speaking countries and China to develop cooperative relations. Portugal is willing to work with China to keep high-level exchanges, intensify personnel exchanges and cultural communication, deepen trade and investment cooperation in energy, finance, infrastructure construction, agricultural products, tourism and other areas, and jointly promote third-party market cooperation, so as to elevate Portugal-China relations to new and higher levels. The Portuguese side welcomes and supports Chinese enterprises to give play to their complementary advantages in production capacity and technology and expand broader cooperation space between the two countries in connectivity, new energy industries and other fields within the “Belt and Road” framework. Portugal stands ready to play a positive and constructive role in advancing EU-China relations.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcoming ceremony for António Costa at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chen Xiaoguang and others were present.

After the talks, Li Keqiang and António Costa jointly witnessed the signing of several bilateral cooperation documents covering third-party market cooperation, finance, energy, telecommunication, culture and other sectors.

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