China, Timor-Leste agree to strengthen regional cooperation

China, Timor-Leste agree to strengthen regional cooperation

On June 4, 2022, the President of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos-Horta meets with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Dili, Timor-Leste. PHOTO XINHUA DILI President of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos-Horta and visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed their willingness to strengthen regional cooperation and safeguard multilateralism.

Ramos-Horta said his country fully supports the Belt and Road Initiative and other major initiatives proposed by China during their meeting in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. China's development benefits Timor-Leste greatly and is of great importance to the region and the world.

Ramos-Horta thanked the Chinese government and people for their tremendous support in the past few years, stressing that Timor-Leste has unwaveringly adhered to the one-China policy since the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Timor-Leste is full of confidence and expectation for the future of bilateral relations, the president said.

Wang expressed appreciation for Ramos-Horta for signing the communique on establishing diplomatic relations with China on the day of independence in 2002, when he served as the first foreign minister of Timor-Leste.

Over the past 20 years, Wang said, China and Timor-Leste have treated each other as equals, understood each other and supported each other. Timor-Leste has become an important partner in the Belt and Road Initiative, and China has played a positive role in Timor-Leste's socio-economic development, infrastructure construction and improvement of people's lives.

After the COVID 19 outbreak, China sent medical supplies to Timor-Leste to help fight the epidemic. More than 300,000 people have been helped by Chinese medical teams in the country. Wang said that China has taken an active part in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste.

As an opportunity to review their successful experience and draw up a blueprint for the future, China is ready to work with Timor-Leste to set a new example of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, and common development among countries of all sizes, he said.

Wang called for efforts to promote high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road and start new landmark projects. China is willing to support Timor-Leste in accelerating its capacity for self-development, accelerating its agricultural modernization and industrialization, and achieving diversified development, he said.

Wang said that the Chinese side will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to invest and start businesses in Timor-Leste, contributing to its development and revitalization.

Both sides reached a consensus on strengthening regional cooperation.

Wang said that China supports Timor-Leste playing an active role in regional and international affairs and expects to see its early entry into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, on which Ramos-Horta expressed gratitude for China's support as well as the hope that the long-cherished wish will come true at an early date.

Both sides pledged to uphold and safeguard multilateralism.

Wang said that China expects Timor-Leste to take an active part in the China-proposed Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, both of which have won widespread support.

Timor-Leste always sticks to its principles despite being a small nation, Ramos-Horta said, noting that his country advocates peaceful settlement of differences through dialogue and consultation as well as unity in responding to challenges facing international peace and security.

Wang is on a visit to Timor-Leste, the last leg of his Pacific tour starting on May 26, which took him to the island countries of the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.