Portugal’s trade ties with China arguably pre-date those of any other European nation. Portuguese merchants first began using the harbour at Macau in 1535, and the island eventually became administered by Portugal. Macau reverted to China in 1999, and in a further sign of the historical shift in the balance of power, China is now promising to help Portugal avoid a sovereign debt crisis.
President Hu Jintao was in Lisbon this week promising “concrete measures” of financial support such as the purchase of Portuguese government bonds. Hu also promised that China’s trade with Portugal would double within five years, and announced a raft of deals that included a fibre-optic venture between Huawei and Portugal Telecom. as well as the possibility that China Power International could buy 2% of Energias de Portugal, reports the Financial Times.
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