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Speech of H.E. Ambassador Xiao Jianguo on the Launching Ceremony for the Transmission System of the China-aided Digital Television Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcasting (DTMB) Demonstration Project in Timor-Leste

(From Chinese Embassy in East Timor)

2021/02/18

Your Excellency, Mr. Taur Matan Ruak, Prime Minister
Your Excellency, Mr. Francisco Martins da Costa Pereira Jerónimo, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Social Communication,
Representatives of Local Authorities, Folks,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

Good Afternoon.

It is a real delight to join you on the launching ceremony for the transmission system of the China-aided Digital Television Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcasting (DTMB) demonstration project in Timor-Leste. First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Chinese Embassy, to extend my heartfelt congratulations to both of us on the completion and launching of the project. Second, I would like to thank Prime Minister Ruak and Timor-Leste Government led by Your Excellency, who have long cared about and supported the project and its progress. To representatives from line Ministries and local authorities and all those who attended today's ceremony, welcome.

Today is a day worth celebrating, because it witnessed a milestone in the history of development cooperation between China and Timor-Leste who will soon have its own DTMB system. Under the demonstration project, more than 200,000 people in Dili and its surrounding areas, especially residents in mountainous areas, will have access to high definition digital TV programs. This will greatly enrich the cultural life of Timorese people, open a new window for them to learn more about the outside world, and will even provide their children and young people with better access to quality educational resources at home, especially during COVID-19. According to the agreement, Chinese contractor will continue to work with its Timorese counterparts for 2 years, providing maintenance service. Together, they will make RTTL one of the advanced national television stations in Southeast Asia, and jointly we will incubate and develop the digital television industry of Timor-Leste.

In April 2019 at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping pointed out that, we need to build bridges for exchanges and mutual learning among different cultures, deepen cooperation in education, science, culture, etc. This DTMB project is a vivid demonstration of China's pursue of people-centered cooperation in the joint build of Belt and Road with Timor-Leste. Our joint cooperation aims to let Timor-Leste to close the digital divide and allow Timor-Leste people to share digital dividends. Since the signing of the implementation agreement in March 2019, the project has been strongly supported by lines Ministries of Timor-Leste. Both Chinese contractors and Timor-Leste counterparts have overcome difficulties caused by COVID-19 and actively push the project forward. Today, I am also happy to announce that 30,000 set top boxes aided by China will also be handed over to Your Excellency Prime Minister later today.

In recent years, bilateral people-to-people and cultural exchanges have been deepened, with more and more Timorese people becoming interested in China and Chinese culture. Since 2019, the "Chinese Ambassador Scholarship" program has provided many outstanding or poor-income Timorese students with opportunities to continue their study. Up to now, more than 200 Timorese overseas students have finished their study in China through the "Chinese Government Scholarship". Meanwhile, for many years, the government of Timor-Leste has made a tolerance day-off on the occasion of the celebration of the Chinese New Year. I hope this project will also be helpful for Timor-Leste people to know more about China and Chinese culture, since China is an old true friend and neighbour of Timor-Leste.

Your Excellency the Prime Minister, Your Excellency Minister Mr. Francisco, Ladies and Gentlemen,

China has made remarkable achievements in 2020. Our gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.3 percent last year, making it the only major economy to post growth. In the fight against COVID-19, China and Timor-Leste both have adopted resolute and strict prevention and control measures, and achieved world-renowned achievements.

China is now fostering a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. China will continue a steady increase in the scale of its international development cooperation, giving high priority to the least developed countries and developing countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. We hope it can be an opportunity to further aid and cooperation in infrastructure, and consolidate the basis for connectivity between our two countries under the Belt and Road Initiative. I believe that, jointly China and Timor-Leste will continue to make new progress in the build of the Belt and Road Initiative, and cooperation will create a more beautiful and prosperous future for Timor-Leste.

In the fight against COVID-19, China has given its full support to Timor-Leste. China is the first country to make the quickest response to Timor-Leste's request to donate medical supplies after the epidemic, the first country to deliver medical supplies in large quantity by chartered flights. The cooperative fight shows that, both countries are not only traditional friends with trusts and supports, but also sincere partners in building a community with a shared future for mankind. As a country with fragile health system, Timor-Leste has reported more imported cases of COVID-19 recently, and the risk for community transmission is on the rise. To insure the health and safety of Timor-Leste people, China will continue to do its best to provide support and assistance to Timor-Leste's fighting against the epidemic.

Thank you!

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