Lisbon, 16 September 2022 (TDI): The Special Representative of the Chinese Government on European Affairs, Ambassador Wu Hongbo, concluded his visit to Portugal, on Friday.

During the visit, Ambassador Hongbo met the State Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, Francisco Andre and the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Sergio Sousa Pinta. The three dignitaries discussed bilateral and international issues of common interest.

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Ambassador Wu Hongbo

The Chinese Ambassador Wu Hongbo has been appointed as the first Special Representative of the Chinese Government on European Affairs in November 2019. Ambassador Hongbo is a senior diplomat familiar with European Affairs.

Previously, he served as the Deputy Director of the Western Europe Department of the Foreign Ministry from 1999 to 2000. In addition, Ambassador Honbo served as the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines from 2004 to 2005. From 2019 to 2012, Wu Hongbo served as the Chinese Ambassador to Germany.

The appointment of the first Chinese Envoy to Europe thus signifies stronger China-Europe ties.

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China-Portugal Partnership

China-Portugal relations have a considerable amount of development with frequent high-level exchanges, in recent years. This has led to promising results in pragmatic cooperation in all areas under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Additionally, Portugal is one of the 57 founding member countries of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Furthermore, it is also one of the first European states to sign a memorandum of understanding on jointly advancing the construction of the BRI.

Moreover, China is Portugal’s biggest trading partner in Asia. In the first nine months of 2022, bilateral trade volume reached $6.387 billion, a value higher than that of the whole year of 2019. In addition, China’s direct investment in Portugal also increased by 47.76 per cent year-on-year.

Besides that, Portugal is also the first European Union member country to establish a “blue partnership” with China, further enriching the content of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Furthermore, Shanghai Ocean University and the University of Algarve have also set up the Sino-Portuguese Joint International Research Laboratory of Marine Biology for closer cooperation and exchanges between the two sides.