The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, today symbolically begins a six-day visit to China that ends in Macao, during which he will be welcomed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will participate in Beijing in the forum “Banner and Rota”, Chinese initiative of infrastructure investment of Asia to Europe, in which he will intervene on Saturday and then make a State visit to the People’s Republic of China, between Monday and Wednesday.
His arrival in Beijing on a commercial flight is scheduled for 10:35 pm (03:35 in Lisbon) today.
The first point of his program is a trip to a section of the Great Wall of China in the north of the Chinese capital, where he is expected to speak to the press about his visit to a country that he describes as a ” 500 years “, but that distinguishes it from the” allies “.
“We are no longer surprised by the Chinese, nor are they surprised by us. We know well the difference between allies and partners,” said the head of state on the eve of traveling to China.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who taught law in Macau but never visited mainland China, said that “allies are the Europeans, the United States of America” and the “Portuguese-speaking brothers.”
In the current context of “trade war” between the United States and China, the two largest economies on the planet, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has repeatedly expressed his opposition to “protectionism”.
As for Luso-Chinese economic relations, he argues that “it is good for Portugal to balance foreign investment” and that there must be “two-way cooperation, not just with one sense”, contesting the idea that there is a “Chinese invasion.”
Tonight, the Portuguese President will attend a gala dinner hosted by the President of China to the foreign leaders participating in the “Band and Route” forum in the Great People’s Palace.
According to the list announced by China, the second edition of this forum will be attended by the heads of state or government of 36 other countries, in addition to Portugal, six of which are members of the European Union, Italy, Greece, Austria, Cyprus, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Participants include UN Secretary-General António Guterres and IMF Director-General Christine Lagarde.
During this visit, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will meet with the main Chinese companies investing in Portugal, with Portuguese exporters to the Chinese market and with senior officials from Shanghai and the Macao Special Administrative Region – the other two points of his itinerary.
On Monday, he will be welcomed by Xi Jinping with military honors at the People’s Palace and will also meet with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
In China, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will be accompanied by a parliamentary delegation composed of MPs Adão Silva, PSD, Filipe Neto Brandão, PS, Telmo Correia, CDS-PP, MPP parliamentary leader João Oliveira, and Heloísa Apolónia, of the Green Party “The Greens”.
Left Bloc and PAN did not want to be on this visit, an option that justified the situation of human rights and freedoms in China.
The Foreign Ministry, Augusto Santos Silva, and the Environment and the Energy Transition, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, and the Secretary of State for Internationalization, Eurico Brilhante Dias, are part of the delegation.
Portugal and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations 40 years ago, in February 1979.
All Portuguese presidents elected by universal suffrage after 25 April 1974 made state visits to the People’s Republic of China: Eanes in 1985, Soares in 1995, Sampaio in 1997 and 2005 and Cavaco Silva in 2014.