LISBON - CHINA'S President Hu Jintao arrived in Lisbon on Saturday for a two-day state visit to Portugal, which hopes for Chinese support in overcoming its financial crisis.

Hu, accompanied by his wife Liu Yonqing, members of the Chinese government and around 50 business leaders, landed in the Portuguese capital from France, where deals worth more than 20 billion US dollars (S$25.7 billion) for French firms were concluded.

His plane touched down nearly an hour ahead of schedule at a military airbase, where he was greeted by Portugal's foreign aid minister Joao Gomes Cravinho.

The president was scheduled to begin his visit by laying flowers at the tomb of the 16th century poet Luis Camoes, whose epic poem 'Lusiades' was partly composed in Macau, now Chinese but then a Portuguese colony.

After the ceremony in the Gothic Jeronimos monastery in the Lisbon suburb of Belem he was to go on to the nearby presidential palace for a formal welcome from President Anibal Cavaco Silva.

Talks with parliament speaker Jaime Gama and party leaders were also on the agenda. Mr Hu is to meet Prime Minister Jose Socrates on Sunday, after which various accords and contracts will be signed.

Hu Jintao arrives in Lisbon