Portuguese Ambassador to China José Augusto Duarte has said his country considers the Chinese Belt and Road initiative important for improving connections between Europe and Asia, the People’s Daily reports.

The Chinese Communist Party newspaper quotes Mr Duarte as commending in an interview the idea of connecting Europe, which is a plays a big part in the global economy, and Asia, where the economy is expanding.

Mr Duarte, looking back on 40 years of diplomatic relations between Portugal and the People’s Republic of China, remarked that more and more Chinese students were studying in Portugal and vice-versa.

Such exchanges give Portuguese and Chinese a better understanding of each other and strengthen the Sino-Portuguese relationship, the People’s Daily quotes the ambassador as saying.