BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday sent a message of condolence to Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, over the death of former Portuguese President Mario Soares.
In the message, Xi expressed deep grief over the passing of Soares and his heart-felt condolences to the relatives of the former president.
The Chinese president hailed Soares as a great statesman and an old friend of the Chinese people, who had made great contributions to the establishment of China-Portugal diplomatic relationship and its growth, as well as the settlement of the Macao issue.
China pays great attention to developing relations with Portugal, and is willing to work together with the Portuguese side to enhance cooperation in different fields, and further promote bilateral ties, Xi added.
Soares died Saturday at the age of 92. He served as president from 1986 to 1996 and prime minister from 1976 to 1978 and from 1983 to 1985.