China, Timor-Leste pledge partnership
                 English.news.cn | 2014-04-14 12:28:43 | Editor: Yamei Wang

BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhua) -- China and Timor-Leste have pledged to establish a partnership of good-neighborly friendship and mutual trust and benefit, as Timor-Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao concluded a week-long visit to China.

According to a joint statement released by the two governments on Monday, they agreed to strengthen political, economic, trade, energy, agricultural, defense and security cooperation during Gusmao's tour, the first official China visit by a prime minister of Timor-Leste in 11 years.

The Chinese side spoke highly of Timor-Leste's achievements since its founding and expressed willingness to continue helping Timor-Leste in its national development, social progress and improvement of people's wellbeing. The Timor-Leste side expressed gratitude to the Chinese government and people for their support.

The two sides reaffirmed that all nations, big or small, rich or poor, are equal members of international society. China reiterated its respect for Timor-Leste's sovereignty and territorial integrity, with Timor-Leste likewise stressing its support for the one-China policy.

They agreed to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure building and expand bilateral trade and investment on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and in keeping with their respective development strategies.

The statement said that they also agreed to strengthen cooperation in food production, agriculture and fishery.

The Chinese government will provide more scholarships to Timor-Leste students through various channels, it added.

And China and Timor-Leste agreed to enhance cultural and sports exchanges, and expand youth and think-tank interactions to enhance mutual understanding and popular support for China-Timor-Leste friendship.

Both sides will now work to enhance tourism cooperation, said the statement, with them also agreeing to cooperation in civil aviation and defense.

The Timor-Leste government spoke highly of contributions made by Chinese peace-keeping police, through the United Mission, to the country's peace and social stability.

Timor-Leste's government said it appreciates the Chinese government's proposals to build a maritime Silk Road and an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and would actively participate in these processes.

It also reaffirmed its commitment to joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for closer cooperation with countries in the region. China said it supports Timor-Leste to play a bigger role in regional cooperation.

During Gusmao's visit, there was agreement on joint work in non-traditional security issues such as disaster relief, maritime security, counter-terrorism and combatting transnational crimes.

The statement said the two sides support the United Nations'(UN) role in maintaining world peace, promoting common development and pushing international cooperation, and are in favor of reasonable reform to the UN including its Security Council. This would raise its capacity to meet threats and challenges and better fulfill its responsibilities bestowed by the Charter of the United Nations, they believe.

China and Timor-Leste also agreed that climate change is a common challenge confronting human beings and requires an international response.

At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Gusmao visited China and attended the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia from April 6 to 14.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang met with Gusmao last Tuesday in Beijing and Premier Li Keqiang met him on Wednesday in Hainan Province. The prime minister said he looked forward to Chinese leaders visiting Timor-Leste.

China was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste, a Southeast Asian nation whose independence was restored in 2002.

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