China invites Sao Tome and Principe to be observer at Forum Macau

18 July 2006

Beijing, China, 18 July – China has invited Sao Tome and Principe to be an observer at the ministerial meeting of Forum Macai in September, Mozambique’s ambassador to China said in Beijing Monday.

“The invitation from Beijing to Sao Tome and Principe to take part in the conference for the ministers of Trade and Economy of Forum Macau makes way for a new perspective on the relationship between Forum Macau and the CPLP,” said António Inácio Júnior before the official reception at the Portuguese Embassy to mark the 10th anniversary of the setting up of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP).

Bilateral contacts between China and Sao Tome and Principe are rare, as the African country has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the island with iots own government that has claimed independence from China since 1949 and is seen by Beijing as a separatist province, which should be unified with the rest of the country.

Sao Tome and Principe is the only country from the CPLP (Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea Bissau and East Timor), which is not part of Forum Macau, an initiative of the central government of the People’s Republic of China.

The ministerial meeting of Forum Macau is scheduled for September 24 and 25, in Macau.

A China tinha já convidado São Tomé e Príncipe a estar presente, com estatuto de observador, no primeiro encontro do fórum, em Outubro de 2003.

Created in 2003, Forum Macau is organized by the government of Special Administrative Region of Macau.

At the ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the CPLP was attended by ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of all member countries, as well as representatives of the central Chinese government and the Chinese diplomatic corps. (macauhub)