|Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Portuguese President's representative, Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas, in Terceira Island, Portugal, July 24, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
TERCEIRA ISLAND, Portugal, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Thursday that his country stands ready to deepen pragmatic cooperation with Portugal, hailing it as China's good friend and partner in the European Union (EU).
Xi made the remarks when he met with Portuguese Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas, during a stopover on the western Portuguese island of Terceira on his way back to Beijing from Latin America tour.
China has consistently attached great importance to its relationship with Portugal, said Xi, calling on the two sides to take the 10th anniversary of the establishment of their comprehensive strategic partnership next year as an opportunity to enhance pragmatic cooperation in trade, technology and investment, among others.
China wishes the Portuguese economy could keep its recovering momentum, encourages more and competent Chinese enterprises to invest in Portugal and hopes the Portuguese side could facilitate the communication between companies and personnel of the two countries, said Xi.
As countries with long coastlines and abundant maritime resources, China and Portugal could strengthen cooperation in developing marine economy and utilizing marine resources, said the Chinese president.
He noted that China and Portugal had realized the smooth handover of Macao to China in 1999 through negotiations, hailing it as a historically correct decision.
Xi also briefed Portas on the sixth summit of BRICS leaders and his trip to Latin America, saying that China is willing to make joint efforts with Portugal for the peace, stability and development in relevant regions and countries.
For his part, Portas said the two sides have solved the historical issue of Macao and set a good example for the world. He thanked China for its valuable support to Portugal during its debt crisis.
Portugal stands ready to boost its comprehensive strategic partnership with China, strengthen political dialogue and expand cooperation in such fields as trade, investment and tourism, he said.
Portas welcomes more Chinese companies to invest in Portugal, noting that his country is willing to play an active role in the development of China-EU relations.
He also congratulated Xi for his successful visit to Latin America. Portugal is willing to use its advantage to enhance cooperation on Latin American and African affairs with China, he added.
Xi wrapped up his Latin America trip and left Cuba on Wednesday. The four-leg trip also took him to Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.