China and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste have jointly announced the elevation of their bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This move came as President Xi Jinping met with Timor-Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão at the opening of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Meeting the Timorese leader, Xi said that China is willing to join hands with Timor-Leste on the journey of modernisation to bring more benefits to the two peoples. The two countries should strengthen cooperative efforts in the four key areas, namely industrial revitalistion, infrastructure development, food self-sufficiency and livelihood improvement.
In the joint statement announcing their comprehensive strategic partnership, both nations share the view that since their establishment of diplomatic 21 years ago, the two countries have acted with mutual respect and treated each other as equals, with their friendship continuing to deepen.
Timor-Leste believes that Chinese modernisation presents a new paradigm, which broadens paths and options for developing countries to achieve modernisation and provides a Chinese solution for humanity to pursue a better social system.
Regarding industrial revitalisation, Timor-Leste expressed appreciation to the Chinese government for granting zero-tariff treatment to 98 percent of Timor-Leste exports to China. China will continue to render help in technology training on coffee growing and support Timor-Leste in exporting coffee to China to support revitalising the Timor-Leste coffee industry.
On infrastructure development, China will focus on the policy priorities of the government of Timor-Leste, guide enterprises to ensure sound operation and maintenance of the national grid in Timor-Leste and conduct cooperation with Timor-Leste on communication infrastructure. China expressed its willingness to encourage its enterprises to actively participate in the development of infrastructure, including roads, bridges and ports.
On food self-sufficiency, the two nations will implement agricultural projects to help Timor-Leste achieve food self-sufficiency and modernisation of agriculture.
Regarding the improvement of people’s livelihood, the Chinese government will continue to send medical teams to Timor-Leste, providing medical services for the Timorese people and will ensure sound implementation of projects including the National Imaging Centre of Timor-Leste. The two nations will also accelerate cooperation on the China-Timor-Leste Friendship Hospital.
The statement noted that China and Timor-Leste share common interests and similar positions in international affairs, support the United Nations (UN) in playing a central role in maintaining world peace, promoting common development and advancing international cooperation, and will strengthen mutual support in international affairs, including upholding the UN-centered international system. Both nations agreed to jointly maintain the unity and cooperation of the international community, oppose hegemonism and power politics, uphold true multilateralism, and promote humanity’s common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom.
Prime Minister Gusmão was a key leader of the armed struggle that secured his country’s independence against almost impossible odds. Indonesia invaded the country in December 1975, nine days after it had declared its independence from Portuguese colonialism. In the initial days of the struggle Gusmão walked from village to village to gain support and recruits. Finally captured in November 1982, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in May 1993, commuted to twenty years in August 1993. He was released in late 1999, as the struggle moved towards victory, following the toppling of the brutal Suharto dictatorship in May 1998. Gusmão had continued to lead the resistance from prison with the courageous help of his Australian wife Kirsty Sword.
The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.
China, Timor-Leste elevate ties to comprehensive strategic partnership
HANGZHOU, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of Timor-Leste on Saturday jointly announced the elevation of bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
They met in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province, ahead of the opening of the 19th Asian Games scheduled for Saturday.
The elevation of bilateral ties is a practical necessity for the two countries to advance their cooperation, and a shared expectation of the two peoples, Xi said.
China is willing to join hands with Timor-Leste on the journey of modernization to bring more benefits to the two peoples, Xi added.
Xi emphasized that being staunch supporters for each other’s core interests and major concerns serves as an important political foundation for the continuous upgrading of bilateral relations.
The two sides should continue to promote Belt and Road cooperation and strengthen cooperative efforts in the four key areas, namely industry revitalization, infrastructure development, food self-sufficiency and livelihood improvement, Xi said, adding that China supports Timor-Leste in better integrating into the regional development.
The Timor-Leste prime minister said he is glad that bilateral relations have continuously achieved positive results in recent years, and the people of Timor-Leste will always remember Chinese government’s timely and tremendous help during Timor-Leste’s fight against COVID-19.
He welcomed Chinese enterprises to invest in Timor-Leste and help the country with its development. He expressed the hope to work with China to usher bilateral ties into the new phase of a comprehensive strategic partnership.
The two sides issued a joint statement on the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership.
Senior Chinese leaders including Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Wang Yi, and Shen Yiqin attended the meeting.Continue reading Timor-Leste PM: Chinese modernisation creates new paths for developing countries