President emphasizes ties with Timor-Leste

Jose Ramos-Horta speaks to journalists in Dili, Timor-Leste, April 21, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

President Xi Jinping congratulated Jose Ramos-Horta on Tuesday on his election as president of Timor-Leste, saying that he is willing to work with Ramos-Horta to boost bilateral ties.

In a message to the president-elect, Xi said that since the two countries established diplomatic ties 20 years ago, China and Timor-Leste have deepened their pragmatic cooperation with their ties developing significantly, and this has delivered substantial benefits to their people.

The two countries have become a vivid example of a big and a small country treating each other as equals and developing win-win cooperation, he said.

Noting that he considers developing ties between China and Timor-Leste of great importance, Xi said he is willing to work with Ramos-Horta to advance to a new stage in the two countries' comprehensive cooperative partnership, which features good neighborly friendship, mutual trust and mutual benefit.

Ramos-Horta, 72, scored a landslide victory in Timor-Leste's presidential election, held April 19, in which he was elected for a second time. He served as president of the Southeast Asian country from 2007 to 2012. Previously, he was minister of foreign affairs from 2002 to 2006 and prime minister from 2006 to 2007.

Ramos-Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his efforts in facilitating conflict resolution in the country. He is due to take office on May 20.

China is the first country to have set up diplomatic ties with Timor-Leste since it declared independence in 2002. Over the past two decades, relations between the two countries have grown with the political mutual trust between them strengthened and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields promoted.