On April 19 local time, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), met with Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah in Seri Begawan.
Conveying President Hu Jintao's cordial greetings and good wishes to the Sultan, Jia said China and Brunei were close neighbors separated only by a narrow strip of water and shared long history of traditional friendship. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 21 years ago, their bilateral relations have developed smoothly thanks to the joint efforts by both countries, which may well serve as a good example of big and small countries respecting each other and treating each other as equals. He spoke highly of the importance Sultan attached to the development of bilateral relations. China cherished its good-neighborly and friendly ties with Brunei and was ready to join hands with Brunei to further promote the bilateral ties on the basis of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefits, he added.
Jia made a four-point proposal on further promoting the China-Brunei ties. First, the two countries should maintain high-level exchanges, and communicate through such exchanges on major issues of common concern so as to enhance political mutual trust and push forward bilateral ties. Second, the two countries should expand economic and trade cooperation, to link bilateral cooperation with each other's national development strategy and seek common interests. The two sides should further strengthen energy cooperation and give full play to the economic and trade consultation mechanism and the free trade policy between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote a fast growth of the bilateral trade, Jia added. Third, the two countries should conduct closer cultural, people-to-people and youth exchanges to carry forward the friendship. Fourth, the two sides should promote cooperation on issue concerning the South China Sea. Jia said both China and Brunei have maintained that the disputes on South China Sea should be solved through peaceful negotiations by countries directly involved. As the current situation on the South China Sea has taken a positive turn, China is ready to join hands with Brunei to implement the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in South China Sea (DOC), promote pragmatic cooperation between China and ASAEN countries and make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.
Hassanal thanked for Hu's greetings and asked Jia to convey his cordial greetings and good wishes to President Hu. He said he fully agreed with Jia's proposals on developing bilateral ties. He said over the years he had kept close cooperation with Chinese leaders to ensure a continuous development of time-honored close relations between both countries. He was glad that the two countries are cooperating closely in such areas as trade, economy, energy, agriculture and culture, and hoped the two sides would further deepen cooperation in these areas. Hassanal said Brunei and China have kept close communication and cooperation on the South China Sea issue. Brunei agreed that the disputes should be solved through peaceful negotiations by relevant claimant countries, so as to maintain peace and stability in the region. Hassanal also reiterated Brunei's firm adherence to the one-China policy.
Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General of the National Committee of the CPPCC Qian Yunlu, Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Zheng Xianglin and other officials attended the meeting.