President lunches with China’s VP on Monday

  • Lusa
  • 8 May 2023

Han Zheng will be in Belém on Monday to discuss bilateral relations and matters relating to international news.

The president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, will have a working lunch with the vice president of China, Han Zheng, in Belém on Monday to discuss bilateral relations and matters relating to international news.

According to a statement released by the presidency, Han Zheng has been in Portugal since today, where he will remain until Wednesday.

“The working lunch will aim to continue deepening the excellent relations between the two countries, where issues on the bilateral agenda between the People’s Republic of China and Portugal will be analysed together, as well as matters relating to international news,” the statement said.

On Saturday evening, after having been to the Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome (BA), in Alcântara, Lisbon, the President of the Republic referred to diplomatic relations with China in the current world situation.

After highlighting Portugal’s alignment with the positions of NATO and the European Union on security issues, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa spoke of “countries that have more distanced positions but are no less concerned about the situation in Ukraine.”

“The Chinese vice-president is coming to Portugal. China has now taken a more intense role in relation to this problem, and Portugal is an important platform for dialogue. Naturally, we are where we are, we are allies of Ukraine, we are allies of NATO and the European Union, but we maintain dialogue with everything that may in the next moment, in time, help to build peace,” he stressed.

On 19 April, the president of Portugal received the chief executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region, Ho Iat Seng, in Belém, dealing with issues of law agreed with China in 1999 and the teaching of Portuguese.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa made a state visit to the People’s Republic of China between April and May 2019, which began in Beijing, passed through Shanghai and ended in the Macau Special Administrative Region.

In Macau, the head of state repeated the message that “the difference” of this special administrative region is what gives it value, highlighting the importance of the presence of the Portuguese language.

The president of Portugal said that the Portuguese language is currently spoken more in Macau than it was during the time of the Portuguese administration and was certain that it would remain there after 2049.

In a press conference on the balance of his three-day visit to the People’s Republic of China, he said he was “very happy” with the way it had gone and noted the rise to “the highest level of political relations”.

He then highlighted the Memorandum of Understanding, which establishes a new level of bilateral political relations: “We have reached the highest level of political relations possible, on a par with the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, political partners in a dialogue which goes beyond the mere strategic partnership”.