The Portuguese heat of the 19th Chinese Bridge, an annual competition among students of Chinese language and culture around the world, was held online because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Xinhua reports.

The Chinese government-run news agency says four students, representing respectively Aveiro University, Lisbon University, Minho University and Coimbra University, competed in the Portuguese heat, held on Sunday.

The report says the judges declared Nuno Magalhães of Lisbon University the winner after listening to recorded speeches and watching recorded videos of performances given by the contestants.

Mr Magalhães said in his speech that the world must join hands to win the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, regardless of cultural and language barriers, the report says.

The determination of the Portuguese students to compete despite the obstacles reflects their passion for Chinese language and culture, Xinhua quotes a Chinese diplomat in Lisbon, Zhou Gaoyu, as saying.