The President of the Government of the Azores, Vasco Cordeiro, welcomed the Minister of the Sea of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Hong, at a meeting held in Ponta Delgada, on June 1, to further discuss contacts already established in matters related to the sea.
“Several contacts have been developed between the Azores and institutions linked to the study and research of the oceans and today they were greatly enhanced with the Minister’s visit to the Azores as well as with the opportunity to exchange views. This allowed us to restate the interest and opportunity to strengthen this connection,” said President Cordeiro.
According to President Cordeiro, the Azores provided Wang Hong with a better knowledge on what the Azores have to offer in the maritime area, with the goal of transforming the sea into a driving force in the development and progress of the Azores.
Following his visit to the Azores, Wang Hong signed in Lisbon, on June 2, a memorandum of understanding with the Portuguese Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, to further develop bilateral scientific and commercial projects in the context of the economy of the sea.
Last month, a group of researchers from the People’s Republic of China met with researchers from the University of the Azores, in Horta, Faial, to discuss scientific partnerships related to sea resources, namely the exploration of seabed minerals in the vast sea ground of the Azores.
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The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.