Portuguese President filmed DROOLING while meeting China’s Xi
Mouth-watering investment? Portuguese President is caught on camera DROOLING while meeting China’s Xi Jinping for economic talks
- Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was filmed warmly shaking Xi Jinping’s hand in Lisbon
- But a clip then shows the Portuguese leader drooling from the side of his mouth
- Xi turned away and looked down as his 69-year-old counterpart wiped his face
- Chinese president was in Portugal to discuss economic ties between the nations
Portugal’s president has been caught on camera drooling while meeting Chinese leader Xi Jinping as the pair discussed major investment plans.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was filmed warmly shaking Xi’s hand in Lisbon at the start of the Chinese president’s two-day visit to Portugal.
But as he turned away, a stream of drool was seen cascading from the corner of the 69-year-old Portuguese leader’s mouth. Xi quickly turned away and looked down as De Sousa wiped his mouth in front of television cameras.
The bizarre footage was captured as the two premiers met for talks aimed at boosting economic ties – including bringing the southwestern port of Sines into what China calls the ‘new Silk Road’. The initiative offers loans to build railways, roads, and ports across Asia, Europe and Africa.
‘I know the prospect of One Belt One Road investments makes one salivate, but try to control yourself!’ said Laurent Thomet, AFP’s Beijing deputy bureau chief as he tweeted a version of the video.
Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (right) has been caught on camera drooling while meeting Chinese leader Xi Jinping (left) as the pair discussed major investment plans
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was filmed warmly shaking Xi’s hand in Lisbon at the start of the Chinese president’s two-day visit to Portugal. But as he turned away, a stream of drool was seen cascading from the corner of the 69-year-old Portuguese leader’s mouth
Xi quickly turned away and looked down as De Sousa wiped his mouth in front of television cameras
The Chinese leader is in Portugal for two days of talks.
‘Portugal is an important hub in the land and maritime silk routes,’ Xi said. De Sousa added Sines was ‘the symbol of a partnership which we want to continue to build.’
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Andre Verissimo, editor of the leading business newspaper Jornal de Negocios, said: ‘If Portugal joins the initiative, it will become the first country in western Europe to do so.’
Portugal, one of western Europe’s poorest countries, opened to Chinese investment after being hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis.
Investment from China accounted for 3.6 percent of Portugal’s GDP between 2010 and 2016, according to figures from Spain’s ESADE business school.
But China’s growing influence in Europe, welcomed by Greece and some east European countries, is viewed warily by others on the continent.
The bizarre footage was captured as the two premiers met for talks aimed at boosting economic ties – including bringing the southwestern port of Sines into what China calls the ‘new Silk Road’
At the initiative of France and Germany, EU countries last week agreed on a framework regulating foreign investment, particularly from China.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said Lisbon did not back the idea and was relieved that the final accord provided for only an advisory role for the European Commission.
‘In Portugal, we are not anxious about the origin of foreign investment,’ Costa said, asking Europe to eschew ‘the path of protectionism.’
China now owns a 28 percent stake in Portuguese energy utility EDP, the country’s largest firm, via China Three Gorges and China’s state-owned international investment company CNIC.
It also has a stake in Portugal’s biggest private bank, BCP, and its leading insurance company, Fidelidade. According to estimates, Chinese investment in the country could total 12 billion dollars.
Perhaps the most contentious issue is China Three Gorges’ bid to take a controlling stake in EDP, of which it is already the main stakeholder. The operation, launched in May, involves some nine billion euros.
But while it has been welcomed by the Portuguese government it still risks running foul of barriers imposed by regulators in around 15 countries where EDP operates – including the United States.
China has risen to Portugal’s 11th-largest trade partner in the decade since 2008, when it was 28th on the list.
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