Timor-Leste, officially Democratic Republic of Timor Leste, is a country in maritime Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island surrounded by Indonesian West Timor. The country is the only Asian country to be located completely in the Southern Hemisphere.
File photo: VCG
The capital, largest city, and main port is Dili, which is located on the northeastern coast of Timor Island. Dili also contributes to more than 80% of the country’s economy.
Timor-Leste was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until November 28, 1975, when the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) declared the territory's independence.
Nine days later, it was invaded and occupied by the Indonesian military, and was declared as the country's 27th province the following year.
In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory. Timor-Leste became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on 20 May 2002 and joined the United Nations. Now, Timor-Leste is also a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Community of Portuguese Language Countries
Timor-Leste has a GDP of 1.7 million US dollars in 2017, the per capita GDP is 1299 US dollars and the economy slightly dipped 1.8 percent in the same year.
Timor Leste has rich explored reserve of oil and natural gas. A total 44 oil fields contain around 187 million tons of crude oil and 700 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Commercial crop such as coffee, timber, rubber and coconut are its major export goods.
Poor conditions of transportation infrastructure cloud Timor Leste’s tourism potential.
The United States dollar is the currency circulated in Timor Leste.
Dr. Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, the incumbent President of Timor Leste, was inaugurated on May 20, 2017.
Xi Jinping has sent a to Francisco Guterres, also known as Lu-Olo, on being elected president of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste.
In a congratulatory message sent to Francisco Guterres prior to his inauguration on April 6, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that as friendly neighboring countries, China and Timor Leste have witnessed substantial progress in the development of bilateral relations since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 15 years ago.
China and Timor Leste have set a good example for a relationship between a big and small nation based on equality and mutual benefit, he said.
"I attach great importance to the China-Timor Leste relations and am willing to work with you to cement the traditional friendship and deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two countries, so as to lift China -Timor-Leste comprehensive cooperative partnership featuring good-neighborly relations, mutual trust and mutual benefit to a new level," said Xi in the message.
The Chinese president expressed hope that the people of Timor Leste will continue to see achievements in their national development drive under Lu-Olo's leadership.