LISBON, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- China-Portugal ties maintain steady and rapid momentum with cooperation in various fields bringing benefit to both peoples, said Chinese Ambassador to Portugal Cai Run on Wednesday.
He made the comments in a joint interview with Chinese media on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
High-level exchanges have been frequent between the two sides, and political mutual trust has continued to deepen, said Cai, adding that relations between China and Portugal are currently in the best period of history.
Pragmatic cooperation is seen in the fields of economy, trade, investment, energy, science and technology, ocean, finance, education, culture and tourism, bringing tangible benefit to the two peoples, Cai said.
Portugal is the first European Union country to formally establish a "blue partnership" with China, the first European country to issue China UnionPay cards by a major local financial institution, and the first country on the European continent to jointly build the Luban Workshop with China, which is a project to provide state-of-the-art technical and vocational training and named after a famous carpenter in Chinese history, he added.
Cai said the Sino-Portuguese relations are increasingly showing great development potential and good development prospects.
Since China proposed the BRI in 2013, which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, more than 140 countries and international organizations including Portugal have signed documents on cooperation under the initiative and substantial progress has been made in a large number of key projects, Cai said.
China successfully hosted the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017 and Portugal was also an important participant, Cai added.
The Sino-Portuguese cooperation under the BRI framework was built on a natural advantage, as Portugal is a maritime country and an important hub connecting the silk road on the land and in the sea, he said.
The Chinese ambassador also mentioned that Portugal is an important partner of China and is one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank initiated by China.
Cai added that Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa have stated that Portugal supports the BRI and is willing to expand pragmatic cooperation with China in various fields under the BRI framework.
The ambassador said China and Portugal could work together to further integrate the bilateral cooperation with their respective development strategies.
He also said that by celebrating the anniversary, China and Portugal will continue making efforts to guide the development of the bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, so as to promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Portugal.
Cai said China will continue to deepen reforms and expand opening-up in the future, as well as promote the BRI so as to better benefit the two peoples.