China and East Timor formally established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level in Dili yesterday.
A communique on establishing diplomatic relations signed by the foreign ministers of both countries made China the first country to have set up diplomatic ties with East Timor since it declared independence early yesterday.
It said both governments are ready to develop friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries and to actively expand cooperation in various fields, particularly exchanges and cooperation in trade and the economic field on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
The East Timorese Government, which was sworn in by President Xanana Gusmao yesterday morning, approved the China-East Timor Joint Communique at its first cabinet meeting soon after the inauguration ceremony.
The communique said China respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of East Timor.
The East Timorese Government recognizes there is but one China in the world, that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory, and that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, said the communique.
In an interview with Chinese journalists after signing the joint communique, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said China attaches much importance to relations with East Timor.
He said China will take active measures to push forward relations between the two countries.
The creation of the Democratic Republic of East Timor has added one more new and good-neighborly partner to China, said Tang, who was here to attend the independent celebrations of East Timor.
During the new historic period, there will be great potential for friendly cooperation between China and East Timor, particularly in oil and gas exploration, agriculture, fisheries and telecommunications, Tang said.
Smooth political development between both sides will provide favorable conditions for bilateral economic and trade co-operation, he added.
China will support East Timor in joining the United Nations and other international and regional organizations, he said.
The Chinese foreign minister left East Timor later yesterday after a three-day visit to Dili, where he also inaugurated the new Chinese embassy in the world's newest country.
(China Daily May 21, 2002)