The President of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva is visiting China, from May 11-19, at the invitation of Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party and the President of the People’s Republic of China. The agenda for the visit will address economic, cultural and academic issues.
The Portuguese President will travel to Shanghai, Beijing and Macau and will meet with President Xi Jinping, with Li Keqiang China’s Prime Minister and with Zhang Dejiang, the President of the People’s National Assembly.
Before departing on his official visit to China, in an interview for Xinhua Cavaco Silva said that Portugal’s relationship and cooperation with China were excellent.
“There are increasingly more Portuguese companies doing business and commercial transactions with Chinese companies, and there are increasingly more Chinese companies interested in doing business with Portuguese businessmen and in investing in Portugal,” he said.
The Portuguese President added, “I also want to highlight the increase in relationships between universities, there is more scientific cooperation and we have seen a rise in the exchange of students and researchers, there are scientific projects developing simultaneously with Portuguese universities and Chinese universities.”
The official ceremony to welcome Cavaco Silva is scheduled for 15 May, in Beijing, where the Portuguese President will be greeted by Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders.
On May 17, Cavaco Silva will travel to the former Portuguese colony of Macao where he will be the guest of honor at a banquet hosted by Macau’s Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On.
On the following day, the Portuguese President will meet the President of Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU), Pedro Cardoso, and will visit Luis Vaz de Camões Garden, the Ruins of St. Paul and the Portuguese School of Macau.
During a reception at the Macau Military Club, the President of Portugal will preside at the signing of a protocol between the Portuguese-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and The Macau Chamber of Commerce, followed by a visit to the University of Macau, Macau Polytechnic Institute, Macau Institute for Culture and the Portuguese Consulate.
Cavaco Silva first visited China in 1994 as Portuguese Prime Minister. In 1987, during the rule of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, he signed in Beijing a joint declaration to return Macau to Chinese sovereignty.
This is the first official visit by any Portuguese President to China for about a decade following President Jorge Sampaio’s visit in January 2005.
Aníbal Cavaco Silva , 76, was elected for a first term as President in 2006 and re-elected in 2011. He was Prime-Minister from 1985 to 1995. According to the Portuguese Constitution, the post of Portuguese President is largely ceremonial since executive power lies with the Prime-Minister.