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Timor-Leste: Foreign minister in China to bolster cooperation, diplomatic ties

Lusa - April 3, 2024

Timor-Leste's minister of foreign affairs, Bendito Freitas, travelled to China on Tuesday for an official visit aimed at strengthening cooperation and diplomatic relations between the two countries, the government in Dili said.

During the visit, which will last until Friday, Freitas is to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, to discuss "important issues of mutual interest," according to the government.

The subjects under discussion, it explained, include a planned visit to China by Timor-Leste's president, Jose Ramos-Horta, China's support for Timor-Leste's accession to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), co-operation with the member countries of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and the air services agreement between Timor and China.

China's position on the South China Sea issue and the co-operation plan within the scope of its 'Belt and Road' infrastructure-building drive will also be discussed by the two ministers.

The 'Belt and Road' initiative was launched by China in 2013, inspired by the ancient Silk Road, and has become the main foreign policy programme of China's government under its president, Xi Jinping. A total of 150 countries have signed up.

In September 2023, China and Timor-Leste upgraded bilateral relations to a "comprehensive strategic partnership" – the second highest level in Chinese diplomatic protocol.

The agreement was signed between Gusmao and Xi on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Asian Games, a multi-sport event held every four years.

Source: https://www.macaubusiness.com/timor-leste-foreign-minister-in-china-to-bolster-cooperation-diplomatic-ties