Signed Article by H.E. Dr. Xiao Jianguo, Chinese Ambassador to Timor-Leste,published on STL
2020-12-04 10:08

On 4th December, Suara Timor Lorosae carried an article, both in English and Tetun, by Ambassador Dr. Xiao Jianguo entitled "Uphold Multilateralism towards an Asian-Pacific Community with a Shared Future". The full text is as follows:

From the success of the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) to the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), from the 20th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to the 12th BRICS Summit, from the 27th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting to the 15th G20 Leaders' Summit, November 2020 has witnessed the multilateralism diplomacy of Chinese leaders who   offered a series of China's solutions and propositions for the world to get rid of crises, and to promote development and cooperation. Among them, "uphold multilateralism" and "build  a community with a shared future for mankind" are the most prevailing.


1. China has always uphold multilateralism and free trade to promote economic globalization.


At the G20 Leaders' Summit, based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits for a better global governance, Chinese President Xi Jinping further proposed to uphold multilateralism, pursue openness and inclusiveness, promote mutually beneficial cooperation and keep pace with the times. He called on the international community to support the UN's authority and its standing, and to safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system that is transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive, to enhance the effectiveness and authority of the World Trade Organization (WTO), to promote free trade, to uphold fair competition, and to protect the development rights and interests of developing countries. After China's signing of the RCEP agreement, President Xi emphasized at the APEC Summit that China will also favorably consider joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This announcement once again demonstrated China's determination of expanding its allover opening up, and attracted the attention and applause of the international community.


2. Timor-Leste supports China's stance on multilateralism and has favorably responded to bilateral and multilateral economic and trade mechanism initiated by China


On September 21, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with H.E. Mrs. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste at request. Wang Yi said that, the Chinese side is ready to join hands with the international community, including Timor-Leste, to uphold multilateralism, safeguard the basic norms governing international relations, and build a community with a shared future for mankind. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno responded that, Timor-Leste was ready to work with the Chinese side to promote cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Timor-Leste firmly supports the principle of multilateralism, believes that multilateralism is effective, and all countries should strengthen solidarity and cooperation under the multilateral framework.


Timor-Leste has favorably responded to bilateral and multilateral economic and trade mechanisms initiated by China since 2002 when China first recognized Timor-Leste's restoration of independence. In 2003 when the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), also known as Forum Macao was created, Timor-Leste became a member among the eight Portuguese Speaking Countries. China always encourages Timor-Leste to play a bigger role in Forum Macao. In March, 2016, the first meeting of the Joint Committee on Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation between China and Timor-Leste was successfully held in Beijing and achieved positive and practical results. In September, 2020, Timor-Leste was chosen as one of the five countries piloting the Chinese Electronic Issuance System on Certificate of Origin for Special Preferential Treatment. From 2018 to 2020, Timor-Leste participated in the CIIE in Shanghai for three consecutive years. In addition, Timor-Leste is also a member of the Belt and Road Energy Partnership and a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). With the deepening of bilateral and multilateral cooperation between China and Timor-Leste, the economic and trade achievements continue to set new records. From 2015 to 2019, the trade volume increased by an average of 12.35% annually. In 2019, China was the third largest trading partner of Timor-Leste.


3. China supports Timor-Leste's accession to WTO and other multilateral mechanisms, and encourages the full play of the existing ones to jointly contribute to an Asian-Pacific Community with a Shared Future


Invited to the coordinating meeting for Timor-Leste's accession to WTO in November 2020, the Chinese Embassy in Dili has stated that China firmly supports Timor-Leste's accession to WTO, and proposed to jointly safeguard the multilateral trading system to play a greater role in global economic governance. China is willing to further deepen cooperation in terms of trade facilitation and trade capacity building in line with the needs of Timor-Leste. In recent years, Timor-Leste has increased its efforts of joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in a hope to be a part of the regional integration process. China is glad to see Timor-Leste to be an ASEAN member, in order to stimulate its national development and to bring more benefit to its own people.


Timor-Leste is China's partner of comprehensive cooperation. While actively helping Timor-Leste to integrate into the global and regional economy, China will work with Timor-Leste to continue to deepen bilateral and multilateral economic and trade exchanges and cooperation, contribute to economic recovery of Timor-Leste, and promote bilateral friendly cooperation to a new level by giving full play to the role of multilateral and bilateral economic and trade platforms including the Forum Macao, the CIIE, the Joint Committee on Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation between China and Timor-Leste and the Canton Fair.


The world is undergoing momentous changes unseen in a century, with COVID-19 further accelerating its ravage. Protectionism and unilateralism are on the rise, which have exacerbated the uncertainty of the world economy. Since we are living in the same global village, we are in the same boat, the economic globalization and multilateral trading system have created opportunities for us all and multilateralism is the sure and effective way for the human society to achieve development. China's development benefited from and in turn promoted globalization. China will continue to hold high the banner of multilateralism, uphold the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, and improve global governance to ensure what we each do can be mutually reinforcing and beneficial to all. China and Timor-Leste will continue to pursue Belt and Road cooperation of high-quality and make it a model of cooperation, recovery and growth. China will further deepen bilateral ties with Timor-Leste though bilateral and multilateral platforms, and jointly contribute to an Asian-pacific community with a shared future.

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