Ports in Portugal can serve as important junctions of Belt and Road

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By Feng Xuejun from People’s Daily

The national flags of China and Portugal are hung along the streets of Portugal’s capital Lisbon to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping. (People’s Daily/Wang Yunsong)

Adelino V M Canário in scientific research. (People’s Daily/Feng Xuejun)

Students of Confucius Institute at Aveiro University perform bamboo dance. (Photo/Xinhua)

Portugal has a long history of marine culture and rich experience in the exploitation of marine resources, Chinese President Xi Jinping noted in a signed article on Portuguese media.
He said China and Portugal should strengthen Blue Partnership, facilitate cooperation in marine research, ocean development and protection, port logistics and other areas, and grow blue economy together to better harness the vast ocean to the benefit of future generations.
China and Portugal have identified marine aquaculture as an important area for bilateral cooperation on marine science and technology during the 8th meeting of the China-Portugal Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation held in Lisbon on December 14, 2017.
A Portuguese research team led by Adelino V M Canário, director of Portugal’s top marine science research institute – Center for Marine Science (CCMAR) at University of Algarve, has cooperated with many Chinese scientific research institutes and universities, carrying out a series of studies on key marine resources including mussel, sea cucumber, and clam to seek new technological breakthrough in green and sustainable aquaculture.
The cooperation between Canário and Chinese institutes dates back to 2012, when Portugal was deeply affected by the European sovereign debt crisis and troubled by an insufficient budget for scientific and research.
At an international conference, Canário learnt China’s strong support to enhance scientific and technological innovation, as well as the country’s constantly optimized innovation environment and improved independent innovation capability.
Later, Canário had an opportunity for academic exchange in China upon recommendation, and in 2014, he started working as a distinguished professor at Shanghai Ocean University.
Portugal and China can share information in such areas as marine scientific research, marine exploitation, and marine protection, noted Canário, adding that he hopes the two countries can set up more joint research centers for marine scientific and technological innovation, so as to enhance capacity complementation in scientific research, and facilitate exchanges of scientific personnel.
Carlos Guedes Soares, director of Center for Marine Technology and Ocean Engineering (CENTEC) at University of Lisbon, is a leader of a research team on safety performance of China’s innovative ship – dual-use vessel for river and sea. The project is another vivid example of marine cooperation between China and Portugal.
The dual-use vessel, which can be used in both river and sea, exempts people from the trouble of changing vessels at ports, enhancing capacity of containers and improving efficiency.
The sea-river 1100 TEU container vessel was built according to the contract signed in China’s Wuhan Shipping Exchange in 2017. It can not only cut cost by around 30 percent for containers from central China’s Wuhan to Shanghai, but also improve the capability to cope with extreme weathers and waves at sea.
Portugal has advantages in fundamental theoretical research on marine science, expressed Soares, adding that ocean engineering research is helpful in improving the logistics capability along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which is conducive to the infrastructure construction of the Belt and Road
China has abundant talent resources, and the Chinese government has been placing increasingly great importance and support to scientific research projects, bringing the country to the world’s forefront in terms of scientific and technological innovation environment, said Soares.
Soares believes that his team will benefit from the cooperation with their Chinese partners.
President Xi expressed in his signed article that China hopes to make concerted efforts with Portugal to take forward the Belt and Road Initiative and build a partnership of common development.
“As Portugal lies at an important intersection of the land and maritime silk roads, our two countries are naturally positioned to cooperate under the Belt and Road,” Xi said in the article.
Portugal has responded actively to the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi since its inception, said, Ambassador Pedro Sanchez Da Costa Pereira, Director General for Foreign Policy of the Portuguese Ministry of the Foreign Affairs. , in an interview with People’s Daily.
Located at the west end of the Eurasian continent, Portugal is endowed with the unique advantage of boosting connectivity around the world, said Pereira, noting that the ports of Portugal can serve as important junctions of the Belt and Road.

“葡萄牙港口可以成为一带一路重要节点”
人民日报记者冯雪珺
 
葡萄牙拥有悠久的海洋文化和丰富的开发利用海洋资源的经验。习近平主席在葡萄牙媒体发表署名文章表示,中葡要积极发展“蓝色伙伴关系”,鼓励双方加强海洋科研、海洋开发和保护、港口物流建设等方面合作,发展“蓝色经济”,让浩瀚海洋造福子孙后代。
2017年12月,在中国—葡萄牙科技合作联委会第八次会议上,中葡政府将海水养殖确定为海洋科技领域的重要合作内容。阿尔加夫大学海洋科学研究中心是葡萄牙最著名的海洋科学研究机构之一。研究中心主任阿德利诺·卡纳里奥率团队与多家中国科研机构和高校合作,开展了一系列针对贻贝、海参、蛤蜊等重要水产养殖对象的研究,希望在绿色可持续水产养殖模式上,寻求技术突破。
卡纳里奥与中国的合作缘分始于2012年。当时葡萄牙还深陷欧债危机的影响中,科研机构的经费紧张。在一次国际会议上,卡纳里奥了解到,中国近年来大力支持科研创新,创新环境不断优化,自主创新能力大幅提升。在同行的引荐下,卡纳里奥很快得到了去中国学术交流的机会,并于2014年成为上海海洋大学特聘教授。
卡纳里奥表示,在海洋科研、海洋开发和保护等领域,葡萄牙可以与中国实现信息共享。“希望建立更多的葡中海洋科技创新联合研究中心,希望加强科研能力互补,促进更多科研人员交流。”
葡萄牙工程院院士、里斯本大学海洋科技与工程研究中心主任卡洛斯·格德斯·苏亚雷斯和他的团队正积极参与中国新型船只——江海直达船的安全性研究,成为两国海洋合作的又一个生动案例。
江海直达船克服了以往“海船不能入江,江船无法入海”的问题,不用在港口换船航行,提高了集装箱承载量,提升了运输效率。2017年,在中国武汉航运交易所签约建造的“1100标箱江海直达集装箱船”,不仅可以让武汉至上海的集装箱运输成本下降30%左右,还有效提高了船舶应对海上极端天气、波浪的能力。
苏亚雷斯表示,葡萄牙在海洋科学基础理论研究方面具有优势。在“一带一路”基础设施建设方面,海洋工程研究有助于提高21世纪海上丝绸之路沿线的物流能力。
苏亚雷斯坦言,“中国不仅拥有丰富的人才储备,中国政府对科研项目的重视和支持也与日俱增,中国的科技创新环境位居世界前列。”苏亚雷斯相信,“我们将从同中方的合作中获益。”
习近平主席指出,希望中葡共建“一带一路”,做携手发展的伙伴。葡萄牙是连接陆上丝绸之路和海上丝绸之路的重要枢纽,中葡开展“一带一路”合作具有天然优势。
葡萄牙外交部对外政策总司长佩德罗•佩雷拉对本报记者表示:“自习近平主席提出‘一带一路’倡议以来,葡萄牙一直积极响应。葡萄牙位于欧亚大陆西端,具有独特的连通优势,葡萄牙港口可以成为一带一路重要节点。” 

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