Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan met East Timor President-elect Xanana Gusmao and Speaker of the Constituent Assembly Francisco Guterres (Lu Olo) Saturday in Dili.
Tang conveyed to Xanana a message of congratulations from Chinese President Jiang Zemin on East Timor's full independence to be marked on May 20.
He expressed the belief that East Timor is sure to find a path of development commensurate with its own national conditions.
China attached much importance to its friendship with East Timor, and it is willing to develop overall cooperative ties on the basis of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Tang said.
The foreign minister also said that China supports East Timor in joining the United Nations, the World Bank and other international and regional organizations.
Tang said China is always ready to enhance cooperation with East Timor in international and regional affairs, to make joint efforts to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, and to promote regional peace, stability and development.
Xanana said Tang's participation in East Timor's independence celebrations indicated the Chinese government's strong support for his country.
Describing China as a friendly neighbor of East Timor, he said that the East Timor government and people treasured the assistance accorded by China.
The President-elect said he is confident that with the help of friendly countries like China, East Timor will overcome difficulties in its reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Tang Jiaxuan flew here from Indonesia early Saturday after a brief visit to Jakarta.
A total of 96 heads of state or government, foreign ministers and special envoys will witness the birth of the youngest country in the world at the independence ceremony at midnight on Monday.