Signed Article by H.E. Dr. Xiao Jianguo, Chinese Ambassador to Timor-Leste, published on Timor Post
2022-11-04 10:00

In recent days, Chinese Ambassador to Timor-Leste H.E. Dr. Xiao Jianguo published an opinion piece titled “Insight: Chinese Modernization Brings Opportunities for Cooperation between China and Timor-Leste in the New Era ”in local media. The full text is as follows:

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China(CPC) was successfully convened in Beijing from 16th to 22nd October, 2022. In his report at the Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed to comprehensively advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, and made a comprehensive exposition of Chinese path to modernization.

So what exactly does Chinese modernization mean? And what kind of opportunities can Chinese modernization bring to the development of relations between China and Timor-Leste in the New Era?

It is the modernization of a huge population. China is working to achieve modernization for more than 1.4 billion people, a number larger than the combined population of all developed countries in the world today. This is a task of unparalleled difficulty and complexity; it inevitably means that our pathways of development and methods of advancement will be unique. We will, as always, bear China’s realities in mind as we address issues, make decisions, and take action. We will neither pursue grandiose goals nor go by the rulebook. We will stay patient in advancing the course of history and take steady and incremental steps to sustain progress.

It is the modernization of common prosperity for all. Achieving common prosperity is a defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and involves a long historical process. The immutable goal of our modernization drive is to meet the people’s aspirations for a better life. We will endeavor to maintain and promote social fairness and justice, bring prosperity to all, and prevent polarization.

It is the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement. Material abundance and cultural-ethical enrichment are fundamental goals of socialist modernization. Material want is not socialism, nor is cultural impoverishment. While continuing to consolidate the material foundation for modernization and improve the material conditions for people’s wellbeing, we will strive to develop advanced socialist culture, foster strong ideals and convictions, and carry forward China’s cultural heritage. We will thus promote all-around material abundance as well as people’s well-rounded development.

It is the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature. Humanity and nature make up a community of life. If we extract from nature without limit or inflict damage on it, we are bound to face its retaliation. China is committed to sustainable development and to the principles of prioritizing resource conservation and environmental protection and letting nature restore itself. We will protect nature and the environment as we do our own lives. We will continue to pursue a model of sound development featuring improved production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems to ensure the sustainable development of the Chinese nation.

It is the modernization of peaceful development. In pursuing modernization, China will not tread the old path of war, colonization, and plunder taken by some countries. That brutal and blood-stained path of enrichment at the expense of others caused great suffering for the people of developing countries. We will stand firmly on the right side of history and on the side of human progress. Dedicated to peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, we will strive to safeguard world peace and development as we pursue our own development, and we will make greater contributions to world peace and development through our own development.

As Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak saidTimor-Leste is willing to learn from China's development achievements and modernization path to build his own countrywith efforts. The 20th National Congress of CPC has aroused widespread concern in the international community including Timor-Leste, and “Chinese modernization” has become a heated topic overnight.

Though separated by the vast seain Asia, China and Timor-Leste have always been treating each other as good neighbors, good friends, and good partners.Since the establishment of our diplomatic ties 20 years ago,our bilateral relations took on a momentum of sound and stable developmentand have become a model for large and small countries to treat each other as equals, to support each other and to gain mutual benefit.During the COVID-19 pandemic, China was the first country to extend its helping hand and the first country to dispatch a charted flight to deliver anti-epidemic supplies to Timor. Over the past 18 years, China has sent 9 batches of more than 100 experts from medical and health sector to Timor, providing gratuitously premium medical services to more than 300 thousand Timorese patients.For this year, Timor-Leste will participate in the China International Import Expo(CIIE) for the fifth consecutive time. Chinese consumers can now have a taste of the fragrant organic Timorese coffee and the orders from China have helped to improve the lives of the coffee farmers here. Built by a Chinese company,the port of Tibar becomes the largest infrastructure investment project in the country since its creation and also the first modern container terminal.Refurbished with Chinese support,the China-Timor-Leste Friendship Football Fieldhas been labelled as “the most beautiful football field in Timor-Leste”, which could help to enhance mass participation to sports and to develop local footballevents.And with the joint efforts of both sides, the return of Timorese students to Chinese universities is progressing smoothly, and so far more than half of them have arrivedback to China .

As General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out in the report to  20th National Congress of CPC, “China is prepared to invest more resources in global development cooperation. It is committed to narrowing the North and South gap and supporting and assisting other developing countries in accelerating development.”This is actually our“invitation letter” to share the development fruits with the other countries in the world,with our commitmentto the international community. Its our directionthat determines our path, and its our path that determines our future.The CPC has led the people in pioneering a unique Chinese path to modernization, creating a new model for human advancement, and expanding the channels for developing countries to achieve modernization, which will surely bring new opportunities for cooperation to developing countries including Timor-Leste.

“This country is its people, and the people are the country.”Both Chinese and Timorese governments adhere to the people-centred development concept and insist that the fruits of development should be shared by their own peoples.We totally understand that the Timorese people have gone through an arduous struggle for its national liberation and independence, and now they are faced with the challenges of national development and reconstruction. Proposed by Xi Jinping, the Global Development Initiative(DGI) and the Global Security Initiative(GSI) are highly compatible with the development needs of Timor-Leste, such as poverty reduction and green development, economic diversification, which will bring both sides a promising future for a high-level cooperation. China expects the two sides to reinforce practical cooperation in all fronts, especially in the fields of health care, energy, education, agriculture, infrastructure construction, etc. Lets share the development opportunities in the New Era and jointly benefit our two peoples!

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