Note: This column mainly includes countries along the Belt and Road and countries that have signed cooperation agreements with China on Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2013, the comprehensive strategic partnership between the People's Republic of China and the Portuguese Republic continued to grow with deepening practical cooperation across the board.

The two countries maintained frequent exchanges at various levels. In February, Minister of Agriculture and Sea Assuncao Cristas attended the Roundtable Conference on Agriculture Cooperation Between China and Six Southern European Countries. In March, Minister of Education and Science Nuno Crato visited China, and CPPCC Vice Chairman and Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang met with him. In November, Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal Paulo Portas came to Macao for the fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation Between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries. Vice Premier Wang Yang met with him, and the two sides reached important consensus on bilateral relations and practical cooperation across the board.

New breakthroughs were made in the inter-party relations of the two countries. Leaders of the major political parties of Portugal paid visits to China, including General Secretary of the Social Democratic Party Jose Rosa, President and International Secretary of the Democratic and Social Center-People's Party Luis Queiro, President of the Socialist Party Maria de Belem and General Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party Jeronimo de Sousa. Chen Hua, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee and Secretary of the Education Work Committee, attended the Avante Festival held by the Portuguese Communist Party as the representative of the CPC.

Two-way investment became more vibrant. The Technology Research and Development Center of the State Grid Corporation of China and the Lisbon branch of the Bank of China were established in Portugal. Fosun International purchased 80% of the insurance assets of Caixa Geral de Depositos of Portugal. Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited purchased 100% of the equities of General Company of Water (Portugal), a subsidiary of Veolia Water, France. Wuhan Heavy Metallurgy Group established a mold factory in Portugal. Zhejiang Huadong Steel Industry Group invested in a production center for color coated steel.

New progress was made in the scientific and technological cooperation, cultural exchanges and public diplomacy of the two countries. The seventh meeting of the China-Portugal Scientific and Technological Joint Commission was held, and a joint innovation center for new materials was established. Smooth progress was made by the enterprises of the two countries in the joint research and production of rheumatoid arthritis drugs. The plan for cultural exchanges was implemented smoothly. Delegations from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, China Central Television and other cultural agencies visited Portugal, had talks with their Portuguese counterparts and reached consensus on book translation and exchange of television programs. The "Happy Chinese New Year" event, the eighth International Sinology Forum, the "Chinese Day", etc. were successfully held in Portugal. Chengdu Dance Troupe and Nanjing Peking Opera Troupe staged shows in Portugal, and the symphony orchestra of the Calouste Gulbenkian Fund toured China. In May, President of the China Public Diplomacy Association Li Zhaoxing visited Portugal and attended a seminar on international politics as guest of honor.

Military-to-military exchanges continued. In April, Rear Admiral Li Xiaoyan, Deputy Chief of Staff of the South China Sea Fleet, led the 13th escort fleet of the Chinese Navy to visit Portugal and met with Chief of Naval Staff of the Portuguese Navy Jose Saldanha Lopes.

Exchanges at the local level continued to deepen. By 2013, the two countries had established five pairs of sister cities.

Editor: 曹家宁