Portugal rejects US warning of sanctions over Chinese investment as rivalry heats up

Portugal rejects US warning of sanctions over Chinese investment as rivalry heats up

  • US envoy said the country was part of a ‘battlefield’ between Washington and Beijing, and Lisbon would have to ‘choose between its allies and the Chinese’
  • President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa responded that ‘it is the representatives chosen by the Portuguese – and they alone – who decide on their destiny’

Lisbon has rebuffed a warning from the US ambassador that sanctions could be imposed on Portuguese companies with Chinese investment, the latest sign that rivalry between Washington and Beijing over Europe is intensifying.

Washington’s envoy in Lisbon also said Portugal would have to choose between the US and China.It comes as the US ramps up pressure to keep Chinese firm Huawei Technologies out of its allies’ next-generation mobile networks – a key issue in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s six-day European tour this week.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Monday brushed off the US ambassador’s remarks.

“It’s an obvious question of principle that in Portugal it is the representatives chosen by the Portuguese – and they alone – who decide on their destiny, respecting the Constitution and the rights it gives them, like international law,” Rebelo de Sousa told Portuguese media.