Lisbon, Portugal, 9 Feb – Anibal Cavaco Silva, the President of Portugal, highlighted the “exemplary success” of Macau’s transition to China and said the role that the territory has in Portuguese-Chinese relations, as well as relations between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, is of “primordial importance”.
“The Special Administrative Region of Macau (SARM), which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, today plays a role of primordial importance in the relations between China and Portugal and between China and Portuguese-speaking countries,” said Cavaco Silva in a message to his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, marking the 30-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Portugal and China.
Portugal and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations on the 8 February, 1979.
“These past thirty years have marked the history of the two countries,” said the President of Portugal.
In his message, Cavaco Silva also said that he was “honoured” to be a part of the Sino- Portuguese Joint Declaration of 1987, which “allowed for a peaceful transition of Macau and set the guidelines for the Special Administrative Region, recognising its own special characteristics, in the context of China”.
“This agreement is an exemplary success that Portugal and China can be proud of and was fundamental for a climate of stability, as well as for the economic and social development of Macau,” Cavaco Silva said.
As a result of the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration, Macau was integrated into China on 20 December, 1999, with the title of Special Administrative Region, which it will keep at least until 2049.
Cavaco Silva also highlighted the strategic partnership that Portugal and China inked in 2005, which “allowed for the two countries to move forward together in a cooperation of mutual advantages in increasingly different areas, using an honest and all-encompassing dialogue for the issues and the challenges of our time.”
“The current global environment emphasises the interest and advantages of increasing cooperation between the two countries in all areas of common interest,” said Cavaco Silva.
For the President of Portugal, “all the conditions are there for Portugal and China to face the future of its relationship with confidence and ambition”.
“That is our intention and we strongly believe that with China we have a partner that is equally determined to strengthen our ties,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President of China, Hu Jintao, showed “great appreciation” for Portugal’s role in its relations with China and the European Union in a message honouring 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“China attaches importance to Portugal’s role in the European Union and international affairs,” said Hu Jintao also in a message given to his Portuguese counterpart.
In his message Hu Jintao said that China “is willing to work together with the country in enhancing exchanges and cooperation, boosting trust and friendship, and constantly enriching the content of bilateral relations in order to push their comprehensive strategic partnership to a new high”.