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The 2nd Belt and Road Forum opens a new chapter for China-Timor-Leste cooperation

--H.E. Dr. Xiao Jianguo, Ambassador of China to Timor-Leste

(From Chinese Embassy in East Timor)

2019/05/07

From April 25th to 27th, the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) was successfully held in Beijing. A total of 40 leaders from 38 countries, as well as the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund attended the Leaders' Roundtable. More than 6,000 foreign guests from 150 countries and 92 international organizations attended the Forum.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the Opening Ceremony of the Forum and delivered a keynote speech, chaired the Leaders' Roundtable and held bilateral meetings with leaders of participating countries. Under the chairmanship of President Xi Jinping, the participants had an in-depth exchange of views on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), sharing the views that BRI cooperation created opportunities for common prosperity and reaching broad consensus on enriching the BRI development. The 2nd BRF achieved fruitful results: it established a global partnership on connectivity, improved the cooperation framework of various countries, built a new platform for local and business exchanges. A list of 283 deliverables has been reached, worth over US$64 billion. While carrying out bilateral and tripartite cooperation, the participants have also set up more than 20 BRI multilateral dialogue and cooperation platforms in fields such as port, finance, customs, energy, environment and culture. All participating countries expressed their high expectation to participate in the 3rd BRF.

Former President, Former Prime Minister and Chief Negotiator for Maritime Boundary Affairs, H.E. Mr. Xanana Gusmão led the Timorese delegation to attend the 2nd BRF. His speech at the thematic forum of Infrastructure Connectivity won wide acclaim among the attendees. He also attended the Opening Ceremony and Welcoming Banquet of the Forum, meanwhile, H.E. Mr. Xanana met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, H.E. Mr. Kong Xuanyou and the CEOs of several Chinese enterprises. During the Forum, Timor-Leste officially joined the Belt and Road Energy Partnership. In addition, Acting Minister of State Administration of Timor-Leste, H.E. Mr. Abílio José Caetano, as a member of Timorese delegation, attended the thematic forum of Local Cooperation and delivered a speech. He also paid a visit to Hunan Province, signed an agreement in Changsha, the provincial capital city with H.E. Mrs. Wu Lan, Deputy Party Secretary of Hunan Province to establish friendship province/district between Hunan Province and Manatuto District.

This year's Forum sends a clear message: more and more friends and partners will join in Belt and Road cooperation, and the cooperation will enjoy higher quality and brighter prospects, which fully reflects the common aspiration of all countries for opening-up development and win-win cooperation. China will work with all parties to implement the consensus reached at this year's Forum, advance results-oriented implementation of projects in the spirit of an architect refining the blueprint, ensure substantive, steady, sustained and high-quality development and usher in a brighter future of Belt and Road cooperation.

President Xi Jinping has noted that, while the BRI was launched by China, its opportunities and outcomes are shared by the world. Belt and Road cooperation is a long-term endeavor and a common cause of all its cooperation partners. Just as H.E. Mr. Xanana Gusmão mentioned in his speech at the thematic forum of Infrastructure Connectivity, "President Xi Jinping's vision to re-build a land and maritime silk road provides the cooperation and assistance that Timor-Leste needs to address our development challenges. The objectives of the BRI show us the way forward. It effectively works to synergize development strategies, deepen project coordination and infrastructure connectivity, expand industrial investment and financial cooperation and promote financial and trade connectivity."

H.E. Mr. Xanana also emphasized that China and Timor-Leste enjoy a close and friendly relation. "Two years ago, Timor-Leste and China signed a MOU on the BRI. Timor-Leste commend the vision and solidarity of China with its BRI which will connect the people of the world, sharing prosperity and opportunity around the globe. Timor-Leste is always going to be part of the remarkable BRI of President Xi, and is now working with Chinese cooperation agencies to make the objectives of the MOU a reality."

At present, under the framework of BRI, the pragmatic cooperations in various areas between China and Timor-Leste have stepped into a new stage and yielded fruitful results. For consecutive years, China has been one of Timor-Leste's major trading partners. More and more Chinese companies come and invest in Timor-Leste or engage in contracted projects, being involved in infrastructure, agriculture, trade and other fields. The three key projects undertaken by Chinese companies in Timor-Leste, which are Timor-Leste National Power Grid, Suai Highway (Phase I) and Tibar Bay Port, are either successfully completed or under steady construction. Lots of Chinese assistance programs in Timor-Leste are also making smooth progress: the Project of Plantation Techniques of Corn yields bumper harvests, the DTMB Project has entered into implementation stage, the Grain Depot Project has just been launched. Furthermore, Chinese Medical Team has provided Timorese people with quality medical services during the past 15 years, the different Chinese Government Scholarship and the Vocational and Technical Training Programs have helped hundreds of Timorese students and trainees.

I firmly believe that the 2nd BRF will certainly inject fresh impetus and open a new chapter for China-Timor-Leste cooperation, constantly pushing our economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges to a new level, benefiting more our two countries and peoples. As the 7th Chinese Ambassador to Timor-Leste, I'm willing to work with the Timor-Leste Government and different sectors to play a more active role in speeding up the formulation of bilateral cooperation plan for the implementation of the MOU of BRI Cooperation between China and Timor-Leste, holding the 2nd meeting of the China-Timor-Leste Economic and trade Joint Commission at an earlier day, and designing a number of new BRI Cooperation projects in areas of agriculture, infrastructure, civil aviation, oil and gas, health, education, poverty alleviation and personnel training through strategy synergy.

Hand in hand, together we can. I am confident that China and Timor-Leste will create a brighter future of win-win cooperation on the broad road of BRI cooperation.

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