Wang Yi and Portuguese Minister of State and Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva Hold First Round of China-Portugal Strategic Dialogue at the Foreign Ministers' Level

On July 22, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the first round of China-Portugal strategic dialogue at the foreign ministers' level with Portuguese Minister of State and Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva in Chengdu via video link.

Wang Yi said that China always views its relations with Portugal from a strategic and long-term perspective and cherishes its traditional friendship with Portugal. China and Portugal have established a comprehensive strategic partnership and friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have always been the main theme of China-Portugal relations. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Portugal have supported each other in times of difficulty. The traditional friendship between the two countries has stood the test and opened up new opportunities. China is ready to carry forward its fine tradition, consolidate strategic mutual trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation with Portugal, and make contributions to promoting bilateral relations, safeguarding world peace and stability and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Wang Yi pointed out that vaccine is the most powerful weapon to defeat the pandemic. China has actively provided COVID-19 vaccine for countries in need, and has provided over 600 million doses so far. China stands ready to strengthen cooperation with Portugal and other European countries on the research and development as well as fair distribution of vaccines and drugs, and jointly oppose "vaccine nationalism". The origin-tracing of the virus is a serious scientific issue that requires international cooperation on the basis of facts and respect for science on a global scale. He hopes that the two sides will jointly oppose political manipulation of the origin-tracing issue, jointly resist the "political virus" and safeguard the overall situation of solidarity against the pandemic.

Wang Yi said, China supports Chinese enterprises in investing and doing business in Portugal and stands ready to tap trade potential with Portugal, optimize trade structure, expand and strengthen the existing projects in energy, finance and infrastructure and push for more tangible results of bilateral economic and trade cooperation. China is willing to strengthen cooperation in scientific and technological innovation, and promote joint research in advanced materials, marine, language and cultural heritage.

Wang Yi said, China supports Portugal in playing a more constructive role in international affairs and stands ready to continue to coordinate and support each other with Portugal to jointly uphold and practice multilateralism, and safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international law.

Wang Yi stressed that China has always supported the European integration process and Europe's stance of strategic autonomy. He believes that a unified, stable and autonomous Europe is beneficial to European countries and the international community at large. The European Union's unilateral sanctions against China are totally inconsistent with the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides. China thus has to make legitimate and necessary responses. There is no conflict of fundamental interests or opposition of real interests between China and Europe. Both sides uphold multilateralism, push forward the multi-polarization process, and advocate democracy in international relations and the settlement of international disputes through peaceful means. As the markets of the two sides are highly complementary, there is a high potential and a broad space for mutually beneficial cooperation. China and Europe should become stabilizing forces of the world, and jointly shoulder responsibilities for world peace and development. He hopes that the current difficulties can be overcome as soon as possible to bring bilateral relations back to the track of sound development. He also believes that Portugal will continue to play a constructive role to this end.

Silva expressed condolences to China over the severe flood disaster in Henan Province. He said that Portugal and China enjoy a long and deep friendship. Portugal thanks China for providing anti-pandemic supplies, appreciates China's success in pandemic response and is ready to cooperate with China on vaccines. Science and politics should be separated. The purpose of the origin-tracing is to be better prepared for future circumstances, instead of targeting or blaming specific countries. Portugal advocates conducting the origin-tracing in a scientific and professional spirit and does not support any act of politicalizing the origin-tracing or the World Health Organization's work. Portugal appreciates the significant contribution made by Chinese companies to Portuguese economic and social development through lawful operations in the country. The Portuguese market will always be open to Chinese enterprises. He hopes to further cement the ties between the two sides in the post-COVID era and deepen bilateral cooperation. Europe and China are important economic and trade partners. The two sides can also work together on international issues, such as climate change. Portugal is in support of expanding the common understanding between Europe and China and strengthening bilateral cooperation. Both Portugal and China staunchly support multilateralism, and advocate safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core. Portugal is willing to enhance coordination and cooperation with China in international affairs.

The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional affairs of common concern. Both sides are satisfied with the success of the first round of strategic dialogue at the foreign ministers' level.

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