Joint Issue Portugal - China
2019 marks 40 years of official diplomatic relations between the Portuguese Republic and the People’s Republic of China (on 8 February 1979, the two countries reached an agreement on the establishment of diplomatic relations). The historical relations and direct friendship between the people ofChina and Portugal began as early as the 16th century, afterPortuguese navigators managed to join the Cape Route with the Maritime Silk Road, which had hitherto been used by large Chinese ships, under the command of Admiral Zheng He, to reach the coast of East Africa. Thus began the globalisation of the modern aera, for the first time joining, with a direct and continuous shipping route, the four main continents, from Europe to Africa, America and Asia. Since then, understanding and reciprocal influence between the two peoples have grown, both in terms of knowledge and technology and on a cultural level.
Today Portugal and China develop relations of deep mutual respect and friendship in multiple areas of political, economic, social and cultural activity, namely participating in the Chinese initiative One Belt, One Road, in the more global context of Portugal’s European and international relations.
Rui d’Ávila Lourido Historian