China and Brunei pledge closer cooperation in infrastructure, health and defence

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah after a signing ceremony following their bilateral meeting at The Great Hall Of The People in Beijing, China, on Sept 13, 2017.
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah after a signing ceremony following their bilateral meeting at The Great Hall Of The People in Beijing, China, on Sept 13, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Infrastructure, health and defence affairs are among highlights of the cooperative documents signed following the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brunei's visiting Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

During their meeting on Wednesday (Sept 13), Mr Xi said the two countries should reinforce the exchange of governing experience, the synergy of their development strategies as well as pragmatic cooperation in various fields.

Both countries should strengthen cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction, energy, halal food, agriculture, fisheries and digital economy.

Sultan Bolkiah, who is also Brunei's Prime Minister, said his country supports the Belt and Road Initiative and it will continue honouring the one-China policy.

Brunei welcomes Chinese enterprises making investments and developing business there, and the country is ready to further maintain high-level contacts with China and expand cultural exchanges.

Sultan Bolkiah was making his second state visit to China - the first was in 2013.

Wednesday's talk was amicable, and the outcomes were fruitful, said director-general Xiao Qian of the Department of Asian Affairs at China's Foreign Ministry.

On the South China Sea, Mr Xi said the current situation is increasingly stable and cooling, and it shows a positive momentum of development.

China is ready to work with parties concerned, including Brunei, to make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, Mr Xi said.

Brunei is ready to work with China to champion peace and stability in the South China Sea and continue to nurture the ties between Asean and China, Sultan Bolkiah said.

Before arriving in Beijing, Sultan Bolkiah attended the 14th China-Asean Expo in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

China appreciates Brunei pushing forward the development of the China-Asean relationship, Mr Xi said.

China is willing to strengthen the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the development plans of Asean, promote and upgrade their ties and boost the buildup of the Asean Community, the President added.