Macao's return showed 'wisdom' [China Daily: Hong Kong Edition]
(China Daily: Hong Kong Edition Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Xi, visiting Portuguese president see accords signed on range of interests
On his first visit to China in two decades, Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva found the prosperity before him the best proof of the wisdom he and then-Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping showed in 1987.
Cavaco Silva, at the time the Portuguese prime minister, signed in Deng's presence in Beijing a joint declaration on the return of Macao to Chinese sovereignty. Portugal returned Macao to China in December 1999.
"China and Portugal solved the Macao issue, which was left by history, with great wisdom, ... which I believe the economic and social development that Macao is going through has fully demonstrated," Cavaco Silva told President Xi Jinping during a meeting on Thursday at the Great Hall of the People.
Cavaco Silva, 74, is on a state visit to China through Sunday. The last time he visited was in 1994. He won the Portuguese presidential election in 2006 and was re-elected in 2011.
The two presidents officiated on Thursday at the signing of agreements in areas such as education, oceanic technology and financing.
Business documents signed include a strategic cooperation agreement between China Three Gorges Corp and Energias de Portugal, while Chinese global telecom giant ZTE signed an agreement on a telecommunication network building with Portugal's DST Group.
Also, Chinese conglomerate Fosun International signed a project settlement agreement in acquisition of Portugual's largest insurance group.
In a lighter moment, Xi, a soccer fan, talked with his guest about Cristiano Ronaldo's leading role on the Portuguese national team.
Portuguese media believe their president's visit to China, at a time when Portugal is gradually emerging from its debt crisis, is significant. They say they expect the trip to bring enormous opportunities for local companies and attract Chinese investment.
Accompanying Cavaco Silva is a large delegation including the country's deputy prime minister and ministers of diplomacy, economy and education, as well as more than 100 entrepreneurs.
Portugal was bailed out in May 2011 and since then has had to implement painful austerity to meet the terms of the 78-billion-euro ($106.6 billion) deal it signed with the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. The country's 15.3 percent unemployment is among the highest in the eurozone.
However, exports have risen in recent times, helping Portugal attain a year-on-year growth of 1.6 percent.
Cavaco Silva also said that China's cooperation with the EU plays an important role in global economic growth, lifting people's livelihood and promotion of peace.
"The EU pays close attention to the measures China is taking to fulfill its dream," he told reporters.
Before leaving for China on Sunday, Cavaco Silva lauded the Sino-Portuguese relationship.
"China can be sure that Portugal will act within the EU in a friendly way with respect to China. We are a constructive partner and a friend of China, and we know how beneficial it is for the EU to deepen commercial and investment relationships with China," he said.
Xinhua contributed tothis story.
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