Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam in San Francisco on Thursday local time.
Xi expressed great pleasure in meeting with the sultan as he did, this time last year, when they held a meeting during the APEC Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
President Xi noted that the friendship between China and Brunei is deep-rooted and enduring. China and Brunei are each other's close neighbors across the sea, trustworthy friends and partners of common development.
Xi pointed out that over the past 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Brunei, both sides have continually deepened political trust, actively aligned development strategies, and achieved fruitful results in practical cooperation across various fields.
China and Brunei have maintained good coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues, and it has become a prime example of equality, win-win cooperation and common development between countries of different sizes.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the strategic cooperative partnership between China and Brunei, President Xi stressed, adding that China is willing to further enhance bilateral cooperation between the two sides, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and bring more benefits to the people of the two countries.
Xi said the Chinese side supports Brunei in following a development path that is in line with its national conditions and China welcomes Brunei to expand its exports of high-quality products to China, encourages more Chinese companies to invest and operate in Brunei.
China is also willing to expand practical cooperation in areas such as food security, digital economy and green development, and to carry out people-to-people exchanges in the fields of education, culture, tourism, health, as well as exchanges at local levels, Xi said.
Both sides should work together to push for positive progress in joint maritime development and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, Xi said, adding that China attaches great importance to East Asian cooperation, and is willing to work with Brunei and other countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote regional economic integration and uphold the right path of East Asian cooperation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalamin in San Francisco, the United States, November 16, 2023. /Xinhua
On his part, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah congratulated China on the successful hosting of the Hangzhou Asian Games recently. He said that Brunei's friendly exchanges with China have a long history, and the relationship between the two countries has always maintained good development, with exchanges and cooperation in various fields progressing smoothly.
Brunei has always firmly adhered to the one-China policy, said the sultan, adding that the country attaches great importance to developing relations with China and is willing to continue strengthening cooperation in fields such as economy, trade, agriculture, fisheries, and green energy. The country is also willing to deepen cultural exchanges with China and actively promote high-quality development under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Brunei will continue to strengthen cooperation with China within the framework of ASEAN and looks forward to an early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. The country is willing to strive with China to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace and friendship so as to promote regional peace and security.
Brunei is also willing to communicate closely with China on regional issues such as the conflict between Israel and Palestine, said Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.