Vasco Rocha Vieira, the last Portuguese governor of Macao, says that “good historical relations” with China are “an asset for Portugal” and can help improve ties between Beijing and the EU.
He made the remarks yesterday after receiving an honorary doctorate from the Macau University of Science and Technology, Portuguese news agency Lusa reports.
According to the agency, Vasco Rocha Vieira, who was governor from 1991 to 1999, stressed that the history of Macau had given Portugal “a privileged knowledge” of China and could help Lisbon “give opinions and advise” Brussels in its relationship with Beijing.
China, he said, was “a superpower in the making” and Lisbon could “contribute to respect, progress and peace”, in a world marked by “very great instability”.
Rocha Vieira added that “another great asset” for Portugal was the interest in the Portuguese language in mainland China, where some 50 higher education institutions offer courses in Portuguese.
Interest in the language stemmed, he said, from China’s desire to “have, through Portugal, a closer relationship with Portuguese-speaking countries”.
Rocha Vieira is in Macao until Saturday, TDM reports.