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Posted by portugalpress on December 03, 2018

It’s official, Chinese president Xi Jinping is to sign 19 agreements when he visits Portugal tomorrow

No matter how many warning bells may be ringing elsewhere, Portugal will be rolling out the red carpet when the Chinese delegation arrives.

President Marcelo’s official site describes the 19 ‘legal instruments’ as being the “culmination of a process of intense bilateral negotiation in areas that range from Culture, to Science, Agroindustry and Commerce”.

Xi’s two-day State visit in the company of his wife, China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan, is the fourth by a Chinese leader since the two countries resumed diplomatic ties in 1979. In other words it comes months before the 40-year anniversary marking the renewing of relationships between Portugal and China.

But elsewhere, Europe is intent on screening foreign direct investment within the bloc (click here), for very particular reasons.

With China locked in a trade war with the United States, observers have described Portugal - with its zeal for business deals come what may - as the ‘weak underbelly for Chinese investment in Europe”.

Today, in anticipation of Xi’s arrival, there has been a conference in Lisbon promoting debate on future relations between the two countries.

Expresso has quoted foreign affairs minister Augusto Santos Silva as saying: “the sale of assets is over”. Lisbon now seeks ‘direct investment’ in areas like Sines port (to open it up to the arrival of Chinese merchandise), the automobile industry, CP railways and centres for scientific investigation.

Further details are expected over the next couple of days, but President Xi’s arrival is being billed as a ‘golden moment’ for Portugal as China goes full throttle to promote its head of state's blueprint for the future, dubbed “One Belt, One Road” - essentially aimed at getting the rest of the world to adopt a Chinese vision of globalisation.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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