(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2009)

Document title

Timor-Leste. The Dragon’s newest friend

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)



In 2002 China has been the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Timor-Est. Since then it has maintained a growing presence on the island as it is part of its overall expansion in SEA. China’s engagement with Timor is motivated by three factors : to counter-balance the influence of the USA in the region, preempt the possibility of Taiwan co-opting Timor-Est into his camp, and maintain its presence on the nearby gas and oil shoals of the south China sea. From a position of marginality China has now grown to become a major player in the territory, causing some apprehension in Australia which tends to view Timor as its exclusive patch. The A shows the intricacies of the relations between China and other small, poor but resource rich countries like Timor. The Chinese success is due to an increasingly sophisticated and refined diplomacy implemented by diplomats fluent in local language. However, in the eyes of the Timorese, China has emerged as a committed and much needed friend. The ability of Beijing to pursue “soft power” to secure vital interests is at stake in SEA. - (GL)


Article of periodic

published at : Les notes de l'IRASEC

Editor : IRASEC, Bangkok - THAILANDE

Millesime : 2009, no4  [18 p.]



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