António Costa, the prime minister of Portugal, has stressed the country’s need to have “the best possible commercial relations” with China in response to questions from lawmakers.
According to the Lusa news agency, Costa said that Lisbon had “a relationship of mutual respect with China” and characterised bilateral ties as stable.
Lawmakers last week asked him to clarify Lisbon’s trade with Beijing in the face of EU “derisking” and also asked if he agreed with the bloc’s depiction of China as a “strategic rival.”
António Costa upheld Sino-Portuguese ties and added that Beijing had “respected” the joint agreement between the two countries over Macao.
“As long as China respects [the agreement], we will respect China on the same terms that China respects Portugal and the agreement it established with Portugal.”
There have been suggestions of a creeping tension in the relationship in the wake of Lisbon’s decision to ban telecoms giant Huawei and other Chinese enterprises from its 5G network, citing security concerns.