Book Of The Week

The challenges, development, and promise of Timor-Leste

This collection of essays, the result of the first symposium specifically dealing with Timor-Leste at the City University of Macau, is indicative of efforts to uncover the complexities and potential of economic, social and institutional growth and development.

In the first section of this book, Professor Priscilla Roberts looks back at Cold War geopolitics and its effects on East Timor’s quest for self-determination.

Carlos Branco then examines Timor-Leste’s exercise of sovereignty and analyzes its performance as a small state in terms of foreign policy development, its understanding of the various forms of power through its regional engagement with its two larger neighbouring powers, Australia and Indonesia, and the rising superpower that is China.

Dr Sara Niner rounds off the first part of the book by looking critically at the role and participation of women in contemporary Timorese society through the lens of gendered political-economic, rather than social or cultural, structures.

The middle section focuses on Timor-Leste’s engagement with China’s One Belt One Road initiative (B&RI).

Dr. Enrique Martínez-Galan from the Asian Development Bank looks at available financing options for OBOR initiatives and how Timor-Leste has been financing its infrastructure development needs.

Dr.Joõo da Cruz Cardoso examines China’s aid to Timor-Leste and its increasing economic engagement with Timor-Leste and draws lessons that will benefit the economic and social lives of all Timorese.

Professor Fernando Simões elaborates on the legal protection mechanisms to safeguard the investment climate in Timor-Leste and considers different ways forward. And finally, Professor Sufian Jusoh provides us with the contextual background and rationale that are driving the reform agenda of the newly enacted Private Investment Law.

Finally, the closing section of the book and the conclusion section, carefully prepared by Professor Francisco Leandro, looks into the future with a meaningful final recommendation. Professor Vasco Becker-Weinberg discusses the international importance of the half-island nation-state and its responsibility with regard to the conservation of marine biodiversity.

Dr. Danilo Lemos Henriques makes a comparative study on the development trajectories of both the Macau Special Administrative Region and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and how their respective geostrategic policies will pay dividends in the future.

Dr. Luis Bernadino examines the historical context of the establishment of the Defense Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) from its days as the resistance guerilla army ‘Falintil’ to the impact of the new defense force on regional security.

The papers contained in this book encapsulate the journeys of both Macau and Timor-Leste, and by extension, China.


Publisher: City University of Macau. 1st Edition, June 2019

Series Editor: Institute for Research on Portuguese-speaking countries, City University of Macau

Editors: Ip Kuai Peng, Francisco José Leandro, Danilo Afonso-Henriques

Photo credits: Jinn Ng, Renli Liu, Pengqin Chen, Yue She and Cedric Arnold

Institutional Support: GAES/ Macau Government (Gabinete de Apoio ao ensino Superior, MSAR)

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