Over 700 pupils learning Chinese in São João da Madeira

The Chinese Embassy in Lisbon says over 700 pupils at primary and secondary schools in the northwestern Portuguese city of São João da Madeira are learning Chinese.

The embassy issued a written statement quoting São João da Madeira Mayor Jorge Sequeira as saying so at an event in the city marking 70 years since the People’s Republic of China and Portugal established diplomatic relations.

Mr Sequeira said his city was already urging its schoolchildren to learn Chinese and was willing to urge them more strongly, with a view to increasing Sino-Portuguese exchanges and cooperation under the auspices of the Chinese Belt and Road initiative.

The statement quotes Chinese Ambassador to Portugal Cai Run as saying he hopes more young Chinese and Portuguese can play their part in the Belt and Road scheme.