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Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan Held Talks with East Timor Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Transitional Government

2002/05/22
On May 18, 2002, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, who was invited to attend East Timor's independence celebrations, met East Timor Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Transitional Government Jose Ramos-Horta in Dili. The two sides had an in-depth and pragmatic exchange of views on the development of bilateral relations after East Timor's independence and reached important consensus.

Tang, on behalf of the Chinese government, first extended warm congratulations and good wishes to East Timor for its independence. He said that the independence of East Timor symbolizes that the people of East Timor have from now on grasped their own destiny. He highly appreciated the domestic and foreign policy pursued by the East Timor transitional government for national reconciliation, economic reconstruction and good-neighborly friendship. Tang believes that under the leadership of the new government, East Timor will continue to score greater achievements in its nation-building.

Tang said that China will establish formal diplomatic relations with East Timor on the occasion of East Timor's independence so as to lay down a vital political foundation for developing good-neighborly relations between the two countries. In order to develop all-round friendly relations and cooperation between China and East Timor, Tang put forward the following proposals.

First, to promote high-level exchanges between the two countries and strengthen exchanges between the foreign ministries, parliaments, militaries, police, and political parties of the two countries at all levels.

Second, to strengthen bilateral coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. China supports East Timor in playing an active role in international and regional affairs.

Third, China will conscientiously implement the arrangements on China's economic and technical assistance to East Timor, including the foreign ministry building of East Timor, providing maintenance and technical service on farm machinery to East Timor, and sending a medical team to East Timor.

Fourth, the two countries will strengthen cooperation in economic and trade fields. China encourages its enterprises to participate in the economic construction of East Timor.

Tang also briefed Horta on China's foreign policy. He stressed that China upholds the independent foreign policy of peace, and holds that all countries, big or small, are equal members of the international community. China has always dedicated itself to promoting peace, stability, prosperity and development in Asia. Tang also introduced China's principled position on the Taiwan question and appreciated East Timor's adherence to the One- China policy.

Horta thanked China's support and help to East Timor in the UN and on other occasionsduring its process of independence. East Timor and China will sign a communique on establishing diplomatic relations shortly after the independence ceremonies, which will make China one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with East Timor and send an ambassador to East Timor. Once economic conditions improve, East Timor will send an ambassador to China as soon as possible. All these testify to the profound friendship between East Timor and China.

Horta reaffirmed East Timor's firm position on the One-China policy. East Timor supports China's efforts to realize peaceful reunification of the motherland. Horta congratulated China on its successful resumption of exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macao and believed that the smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao will provide successful examples for the final settlement of the Taiwan question.

The two sides also exchanged views on East Timor's wish to become an observer of ASEAN and participate in ARF and APEC.


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