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Backgrounder: Basic facts about Portugal

2009-07-06 05:31:21 GMT2009-07-06 13:31:21 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The Portuguese Republic

National Emblem

Portuguese capital city of Lisbon (Xinhua file photo)

The following are some basic facts about Portugal.

Portugal has a total area of 91,900 square km (updated: December 2005), with Lisbon being its capital. It locates in the southwest of Iberia Peninsula, bordering Spain on the east and north and the Pacific Ocean on the southwest. It has a total coastline of 800 km.

Among its total population of 10.3 million (updated in 2005), Portuguese account for 99 percent, and the rest of the population are Spaniard. The official language is Portuguese.

It has a total forest area of 3.6 million hectares, covering one third of the land area. It is known as the "kingdom of cork," as cork production accounts for more than half of world total output and cork exports rank in the world's first place. Portugal is one of the main producer of wine in the world, with Porto in the north being the famous wine producing area. Portugal is known for its ketchup throughout Europe as being the largest supplier for the European market.

China and Portugal set up diplomatic ties on Feb. 8, 1979. The successful solution of Macao issue in 1999 turned a fresh page in the all-round development of bilateral relations.

Portuguese President Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio paid a state visit to China in January 2005, and the two countries issued a joint communique.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Portugal in December, 2005, and their premiers signed joint declarations at the time.

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