Exclusive: Timor president says China military cooperation 'never discussed'
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 won't be a security concern to its neighbours.
China's increasing assertiveness in efforts to form security ties with developing countries in close proximity to Australia have raised alarm bells in Canberra, and a recent shakeup of Australia's defence has refocused on protecting its northern approaches.
The Nobel laureate said, Comprehensive Strategic Framework signed by East Timor during a meeting between Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and China's President Xi Jinping in China last week covered development cooperation in agriculture and infrastructure.
He said, the agreement also provided scope for funding from China including government and commercial loans to East Timor.