The Macau and East Timor authorities today launched a twinning project in the health field under the Chinese "One Belt, One Road" initiative and in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).
"It is expected that this partnership will improve the quality of health services in Timor-Leste, promote the qualification of local health institutions and staff, and deepen cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries in the area of health," said the secretary for Macau's Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam.
Macau plans to invest about one million dollars (900 thousand euros) in this project, called "Twinning Partnerships Hospital", said the director of Health Services of Macau, Lei Chin Ion, on the sidelines of the ceremony, which took place in the country in the presence of the Timorese representatives and WHO.
Alexis Tam stressed that "by participating in the One Belt, One Road initiative, Timor-Leste can support its health development", and "also improve its own competitiveness".
Launched by the WHO in 2009, the twinning project aims to help less developed countries improve the quality and safety of health care by sharing experiences and technical support from twinned partners.
In this sense, Macau's authorities will help Timor-Leste, which "does not yet have a sustainable health project," to create "a general practice regime and to perfect the mechanisms of disease prevention", added the Health Services director.
Representing Timor-Leste, João Manuel Ximenes, from the Timorese Ministry of Health, said he hopes that future generations can benefit from this partnership and expressed confidence in Macau's "active participation" in the country's future reforms in this area.
Launched in 2013 by the Chinese President, the "One Belt, One Road" initiative embodies Beijing's new internationalist vocation. Leaders from 27 countries, including the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, participate today in the second day of the forum "One Belt, One Road" in Beijing.
Portugal is, to date, one of the few European Union countries to formally endorse a project that has given birth to disagreements with the Western powers, who see a new world order shaped by a strategic rival with a profoundly different political system and values.
The giant infrastructure project aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Europe, and is seen as a Chinese version of the 'Marshall Plan', launched by the United States after World War II, allowing Washington to create the foundation of alliances that endure to this day.