LISBON, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Portugal has seen smooth growth in the past 30 years and bilateral cooperation will be more fruitful in the future, Chinese Ambassador to Portugal Gao Kexiang said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The past three decades have witnessed the steady growth of bilateral ties despite the changes of the international situations, the ambassador said.
China and Portugal established diplomatic relations on Feb. 8, 1979 and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the event.
Gao noted that the at the end of last century the two countries successfully solved the Macao issue through friendly consultation, thus laying a solid foundation for the development of bilateral relations in the 21st century.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Portugal in 2005 and announced with his Portuguese counterpart Jose Socrates the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, ushering in a new era of friendly cooperation between the two countries, he said.
In recent years, the two countries have deepened political mutual trust through frequent exchanges of high-level visits, he added.
Both countries have further enhanced their bilateral cooperation in trade, culture, education, science and technology, health care and judicial affairs system. As a result, the goal of doubling bilateral trade volume within three years set by the two heads of government was fulfilled a year ahead of schedule, Gao said.
The ambassador said cultural exchanges have also made big headways, citing a number of Chinese art performances and exhibitions, which were well received by the Portuguese people. In addition, two Confucius institutes have been opened in Portugal and more Chinese universities have started to offer Portuguese language courses.
Gao said China highly values its ties with Portugal and regards it as a reliable partner in the European Union.
He expressed the belief that with joint efforts from both sides, comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries will undoubtedly be able to advance further and bilateral cooperation produce more fruits in the coming 30 years.