China helps put digital television on the air in Timor-Leste

A demonstration project of China-aided terrestrial digital TV transmission system in East Timor (referred to as the “Demonstration Project”), was launched in February 2021.

The project is a joint construction under the Belt and Road Initiative between China and Timor-Leste.

China and Timor-Leste agreed in 2019 to introduce digital television to Timor-Leste.

With the assistance of China, East Timor has its own digital TV system. The first batch of more than 200,000 people in the capital city of Dili and its surrounding areas, especially residents in remote areas, can watch digital TV programs with clear images for free. It enriches the cultural life of local residents and allows the closed people to understand the world.

Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister, Mr Taur Matan Ruak, said that the friendly cooperation between East and China has a long history, extensive and in-depth. China’s assistance to the development of digital TV in East Timor is of great significance for the East Timorese to understand state affairs, understand the world, learn knowledge, and broaden their horizons. significant. The two sides will further strengthen and expand cooperation in the field of digital TV transmission and related infrastructure.

Timor Leste (East Timor) has a long history of warm and friendly relations with China. China was the first country in the world to establish diplomatic relations with Timor Leste. In 2017 Timor Leste signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and joined the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Over 20 BRI projects have been negotiated. Three key projects are the national power grid, the Suai Highway, and the Tibar Bay Port. The power grid is up and running, phase one of the Suai Highway was opened to traffic in November 2018, and the Tibar Bay Port is under construction. The highway and port will support the development of the oil and gas industry in Timor Leste.

A signal transmitting station for digital television in Timor-Leste. (Photo: Chinese Embassy in Timor-Leste)

Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries

An important body for multi-lateral relations is the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), also known as Forum Macao, which was launched in October 2003.

Forum Macao resulted from an initiative by China’s Central Government, in co-ordination with seven Portuguese-speaking Countries — namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Timor Leste — and with the collaboration of the Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR). São Tomé and Príncipe joined Forum Macao in March 2017, becoming the eighth Portuguese-speaking Country to join the organisation.

Forum Macao is a multilateral, intergovernmental co-operation mechanism aimed at promoting economic and trade exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, by using Macao as a connecting platform between those places.

Up to now, five Forum Macao Ministerial Conferences have been held, all of them in Macao. They were in October 2003; September 2006; November 2010; November 2013; and October 2016. At each of those meetings, the respective participants approved an individual Strategic Plan for Economic and Trade Co-operation. Each Strategic Plan for each edition of the Ministerial Conferences has identified a number of areas for co-operation  — including intergovernmental co-operation — namely on: trade; investment and entrepreneurship; production capacity; agriculture; forestry; fisheries and livestock; infrastructure; energy and natural resources; education and human resources; finance; development co-operation; tourism; transport and communication; culture; media; sports; health; maritime affairs; and co-operation among provinces and municipalities.

During the 5th Ministerial Conference, the Participating Countries in Forum Macao signed the “Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Co-operation in Production Capacity – Forum Macao”, paving the way for a new model for economic and trade co-operation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Participating Countries have fully implemented each Strategic Plan approved since Forum Macao was launched, thus contributing to the further enhancement of economic, trade and investment co-operation.

Read more: