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East Timor says not seeking China military ties, Australia can ‘sleep at peace’

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East Timor says not seeking military ties with China, Australia and Indonesia can ‘sleep at peace’

President Jose Ramos-Horta said upgraded bilateral partnership between Dili and Beijing will not be a security concern to the Southeast Asian nation’s neighboursHe also said China’s support was primarily in infrastructure and his government might request a loan from the economic giant in the futureAustraliaReutersPublished: 10:20am, 29 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

East Timor has not discussed military cooperation with China in its upgrade of diplomatic ties, President Jose Ramos-Horta said, adding Australia and Indonesia can “sleep at peace” because the island nation will not be a security concern to its neighbours.China’s increasing assertiveness in efforts to form security ties with developing countries in proximity to Australia have raised alarm bells in Canberra, and a recent shake-up of Australia’s defence has refocused on protecting its northern approaches.A Comprehensive Strategic Framework signed by East Timor during a meeting between Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and Chinese President Xi Jinping in China last week covered development cooperation in agriculture and infrastructure, the Nobel laureate said.

The agreement also provided scope for funding from China including government and commercial loans to East Timor, he said.

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