Brunei and China pledge to deepen, upgrade cooperation in all sectors

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Jan 15 (Xinhua): China and Brunei have vowed to further develop bilateral relations and deepen and upgrade their cooperation in all sectors.

The pledge came after Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday held talks with Haji Erywan, Brunei's second minister of foreign affairs and Haji Mohd Amin Liew, minister at the Prime Minister's Office and second minister of finance and economy, and co-chaired the second meeting of the China-Brunei intergovernmental joint steering committee.

Wang said facing the sudden outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, China and Brunei, under the guidance of the heads of state from the two countries, have stood together and helped each other in fighting the virus, becoming the first countries to walk out of the shadow of the pandemic.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Brunei and the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which also coincides with Brunei's assumption of the rotating chair of Asean, Wang said.

Both sides should seize the opportunities by focusing on the two themes of fighting the pandemic and development, and map out cooperation on the bilateral and multilateral levels, upgrade bilateral cooperation in all fields guided by the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to push the China-Brunei and China-Asean relations to a new high and benefit the peoples of the two countries and the region.

China is willing to maintain high-level exchanges with Brunei, make the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties a success, sum up experiences of the development of relations in the past 30 years and work out development prospects for ties for the next 30 years, Wang said.

The Chinese state councilor called for efforts to strengthen cooperation on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, open "fast tracks" for personnel movement, plan and build "green lanes" for goods movement, and maintain the stability of industry chains and supply chains.

On Covid-19 vaccine, Wang said China supports domestic enterprises in cooperating with the Bruneian side.

Wang also called on both sides to push forward the work of the China-Brunei intergovernmental joint steering committee towards the set goals.

Wang called for efforts towards the steady progress in the two flagship projects, namely the Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd's oil refinery and petrochemical project and the Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor, under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Both sides should also sustain the development momentum in bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation, cultivate new growth points in the sectors including 5G, digital economy, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data application, expand cooperation in the fields of agriculture and tourism, among others, and enhance bilateral exchanges in the areas of higher education and students.

Stressing that China is willing to provide more development opportunities for Brunei, Wang said his country welcomes Brunei's participation in the China-Asean Expo and the China International Import Expo (CIIE), as well as in building the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor.

China supports Brunei in assuming the ASEAN chairmanship, and is ready to work with Brunei to further elevate the China-Asean relations, said Wang.

China is also willing to join efforts with Brunei to put into force the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement at an early date, build a China-Asean community of cybersecurity, advance cooperation in public health and forge a blue economy partnership, he said.

Both sides should support the ASEAN centrality in regional cooperation, keep the open and inclusive regional architecture, and maintain the momentum in East Asia regional cooperation, said Wang.

The Bruneian side said Brunei attaches great importance to the ties with China, noting that the two countries share a broad range of common interests with huge potential for cooperation.

Brunei stands ready to take the opportunities of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries as well as the 30th anniversary of the Asean-China dialogue relations to deepen the cooperation with China, the Bruneian side said.

The Bruneian side thanked China for the assistance in its fight against the pandemic, and commended China for the announcement that China will make its Covid-19 vaccine a public good after successful vaccine research and development and will actively provide the vaccine to Asean countries.

The Bruneian side hoped to enhance cooperation in fishery and tourism between the two countries, to advance the building of Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd's oil refinery and petrochemical project and the Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor.

Brunei also welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest in the country and explore new fields for cooperation such as e-commerce and digital economy so as to contribute to Brunei's economic diversification drive.

Brunei, during its ASEAN chairmanship, stands ready to give priority to cooperation with China, lift the Asean-China relations to a new high, further promote the building of the free trade area of the two sides, push for cooperation in poverty alleviation, education, cybersecurity and sustainable development, among others, and pool consensus on blue economy partnership, the Bruneian side said, adding that the sultanate will continue to actively participate in the Asean-China Expo and CIIE.

The Chinese and the Bruneian sides announced that they will launch an energy cooperation working group under the framework of the China-Brunei intergovernmental joint steering committee and maintain communication on establishing a maritime cooperation working group at an early date to jointly promote cooperation in the fields.

The two sides said they will remain committed to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and work towards reaching substantive and effective regional rules at an early date.

After the talks, Wang and Haji Erywan attended the logo launching ceremony for the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Brunei, officially launching a series of commemorative activities. - Xinhua
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