Speech of H.E. Ambassador Xiao Jianguo on the “Chinese Ambassador Scholarship” awarding ceremony
2021-12-14 17:52

His Excellency Professor Dr. João Soares Martins, Rector of Universidade Nacional Timor Lorsa'e (UNTL),

Her Excellency Ms. Maria Filomena Lay Guterres, General Director of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture (MESSK),

Dear deans, teachers, students and parents,

Good afternoon!

It’s my great pleasure to come to the UNTL again before Christmas and New Year to attend the award ceremony of "Chinese Ambassador Scholarship". First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Timor-Leste, I would like to extend my warmest and most sincere congratulations to the 75 award-winning students. I would like to thank the UNTL and the Ministry of higher Education, Science and Culture in the smooth implementation of the “Chinese Ambassador Scholarship” program.

Today’s ceremony has a special meaning, since this year, Timor-Leste suffered the double effects of the pandemic and floods, which increased the financial burden of many Timorese families. I hope that through the "Chinese Ambassador Scholarship" program, some Timorese students can overcome the difficulty, feel at ease with their studies and achieve success in the future. The “Chinese Ambassador Scholarship” program was established in Timor-Leste in 2019, 3 awarding ceremonies have been held, and totally 185 students awarded, who are from low-income families but are excellent in their study. We hope that the program will become an evergreen tree for educational cooperation between China and Timor-Leste, which will last for a long time and benefit more young Timorese students. We also hope this program will become a shining brand of educational cooperation between our two countries, which can promote bilateral exchanges among young peoples and consolidate friendship between our two countries. There is another program called “Chinese Government Scholarship” which covers yearly dozens of Timorese high school graduate students to go to China to study for academic degrees.

Although Timor-Leste is a young country established in the new century, China and Timor-Leste have connected through commerce and trade since the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century. China has always firmly supported the just cause of the independence of Timorese, and is the first country to establish diplomatic ties with Timor-Leste since Timor-Leste regained its independence. At present, bilateral trade cooperation is developing steadily under The Belt and Road Initiative, and the concept of "common development, common prosperity" and "no one being left behind" is being realized. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Timor-Leste have get together and cope with difficulties. China, adhering to the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, has repeatedly sent large quantities of anti-pandemic materials and sino-vaccines to Timor-Leste. I’m pleased to see that the young Timorese group has been listed as the main vaccination population of Sinovac. At this stage, great achievements in pandemic control and vaccination have been made in Timor-Leste, with a single-digit daily report of the infections or even zero and a continuous increase in the rate of vaccination. In this regard, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to the government and people of Timor-Leste. At present, new coronavirus strains have emerged, and the relevant prevention cannot be careless. Chinese government will continue to pay attention to the pandemic situation in Timor-Leste, and is willing to continue to provide assistance to Timor-Leste in the fight against the pandemic. As we live in a global village, we must unite and work together to defeat COVID-19 completely.

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Timor-Leste. During the normalization of the pandemic, China is willing to provide more development assistance to Timor-Leste in the light of the diversified economic development needs and focus on key areas, including education, so as to promote the economic recovery and to deepen cultural and education cooperation in Timor-Leste. It’s expected that the two countries will continue to deepen friendly comprehensive cooperation, to bring more benefits to both sides and work for the well-being of the two peoples. In the past dozens of years, China witnesses a robust and rapid development, people’s livelihood has been upgraded to a well-off society. As a young country, Timor-Leste has good natural endowment and great potential for development. On the road to "common prosperity", China would like to actively share its experience of economic development, poverty elimination, and national construction with Timor-Leste, and will always stand side by side with Timorese to create more development opportunities. Look forward to more bilateral cooperation with UNTL and Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture.

If the youth is prosperous, the country is prosperous, and if the youth is strong, the country is strong. All of you here are the future of Timor-Leste. I hope that under your own hard work, you are growing up to be the needed talents useful to your country, to be builders of the prosperity of Timor-Leste, the messengers of the traditional friendship, the promoters of friendly cooperation, and also the builders of friendly relations between our two countries.

Finally, congratulations to the award-winning students again! I wish you all a merry Christmas and happy new year! Thank you!

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