34 years ago, a president of the People's Republic of China visited Portugal for the first time.
However, at that time, the role of Head of State was only a little more than ceremonial.
Li Xiannian was one of the "Eight Immortals" who had a say in what was most important in China, but his role eventually became secondary because of the weight and preponderance of Deng Xiaoping.
At that time, in November of 1984, negotiations on the future of Hong Kong were almost complete, and talks were about to begin in what would result in the Joint Declaration on Macau.
On the eve of Xi Jinping's visit to Portugal - the fourth from a Chinese head of state to Lisbon - this past seems, in fact, to be one from a distant country and world.
In Beijing, this shift has been prepared to the millimeter for the last months, clearly focusing on the success of a visit that comes at a time when political, economic, educational and cultural ties between the two sides have never been so strong, opening multiple tracks and routes.
In this process it is important to have a good mutual understanding in the interests of each party, without neglecting the role of Macau.
The importance of the presence of Xi in Portugal, must be seen from the point of view of bilateral dynamics and in the context of a particularly demanding and complex external environment for China.
Xi will be in Lisbon after the expected meeting with Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina, in the midst of a trade "war"
On the other hand, in the face of growing European skepticism about Chinese investment in strategic sectors, Portugal emerges as one of its most friendly partners in Western Europe, with whom China has a special relation of many centuries.
It was not by coincidence what the former Chinese Foreign Minister, Li Zhaoxing, said when he answered a question about the Chinese interest in Portuguese-speaking countries at a conference held in 2009 at the Polytechnic Institute of Macau.
Li remembered the day he went to Cabo da Roca, in Portugal, and became astounded with the immense and inebriating Atlantic Ocean.
At the time, he shared, the verses of Fernando Pessoa in "Portuguese Sea" made a total sense.
It is in it that the sky is mirrored. Blue.