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China-Brunei Cooperation Presents Broad Prospect

On Nov.24th, H.E.Chinese Ambassador Yu Hong’s article “China-Brunei Cooperation Presents Broad Prospect” published in 《Borneo Bulletin》and three Chinese newspapers.The full text is as follows:

China-Brunei Cooperation Presents Broad Prospect

H.E. Mme Yu Hong,Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam

At the end of last month, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China adopted Recommendations for Formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035。 The party plenum communique stated that the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects will be achieved as scheduled. Next year, China will embark on a new journey of fully building a modern socialist country. Brunei is currently in its 11th Five-Year Plan and has put forward the Wawasan Brunei 2035 aiming at achieving economic diversification. The two 2035 goals provide more opportunities for the two countries to strengthen cooperation and develop together.

Firstly, we share similar goals. China’s Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 focuses on promoting economic strength, scientific and technological strength and overall national strength. The construction of an innovative country, the building of a modern economic system, and the formation of a green production and lifestyle is pivotal in the Long-Range Objectives, and bringing the economic aggregate and per capita income of urban and rural residents to a new level is the ultimate goal. Wawasan Brunei 2035, on the other hand, includes objectives such as "improving education standards, improving the quality of life, making people's living standards one of the top ten in the world, improving economic level, developing an efficient and sustainable economy, and making per capita income one of the top ten in the world." Both 2035 goals emphasize on the high-quality and sustainable economic development, the improvement of people’s living standards and quality of life, as well as the importance of improving educational and cultural standards, along with protecting and improving the ecological environment.

Secondly, our two countries share similar concepts of development.

--In the face of raging epidemic, both governments put the safety of people's lives first and adopted decisive and strong measures at the earliest stage, quickly bringing the outbreak under control and effectively safeguarding people's health and safety. Brunei’s economy has maintained positive growth, and China has overcome the huge impact of the epidemic to emerge as the first major economy in the world to achieve positive growth.

--Both countries attach great importance to improving people's living standards. To both countries, development depends on the people and is for the people. During China's 13th Five-Year Plan period, 55.75 million rural population were lifted out of poverty, basic medical insurance covers more than 1.3 billion people, and basic endowment insurance system covers nearly 1 billion people. The Brunei government under the leadership of H.M. the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has provided its people with high-level social welfare in areas such as medical care, housing, education and pensions.

--Both countries emphasize green economy and sustainable development. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced this year that China will achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2060. The Bruneian government formulated its first National Climate Change Policy this year.

--Both countries firmly support multilateralism and free trade. China and Brunei are both signatories of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), which is currently the world's largest regional free trade agreement.

Thirdly, the two countries share convergence of interests. Since China and Brunei established the diplomatic relations, our two countries have adhered to mutual respect, non-interference in each other's internal affairs and treating each other equally. The bilateral cooperation has been developing continuously. The two heads of states have reached important consensus on promoting the synergies between the Belt and Road Initiative and Wawasan Brunei 2035.

--Against the backdrop of world economy falling into severe recession due to the epidemic, despite the fact that bilateral personnel exchanges have been throttled, the trade volume between the two countries has gained a year-on-year increase of 95.6% in the first three quarters against all odds, ranking top one in terms of growth rate of the bilateral trade volume between China and ASEAN countries.

--Hengyi Petrochemical, a preeminent cooperation project between China and Brunei, has started full operation, extending Brunei's downstream oil and gas industry, joining the efforts of creating more local employment and of driving economic growth, and making important contribution to Brunei's economic diversification.

--The Sultan Omar Saifuddien Bridge, co-constructed by Chinese company CSCEC, has been put into use during the epidemic, providing strong support in the containing of the outbreak and facilitating people's daily work and life.

--The two sides have also deepened cooperation in areas such as digital economy and health care.

In the course of realizing its Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, China will implement new concepts of development featuring innovation, coordination, green economy, openness and shared development. We will promote high-quality development, and accelerate the establishment of a dual-circulation development pattern in which domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement. As China strives to expand domestic demand, we will pursue opening-up at a higher level. This will enable us to better match the two huge markets of China and ASEAN, contributing to regional economic recovery and sustainable development. ASEAN countries, including Brunei, will be the first to benefit from this development strategy.

Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang attended a series of major international meetings on APEC and East Asia cooperation. Chinese leaders emphasized that China is willing to enhance the cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries including ASEAN countries and to sustain the strong momentum of development in the region. Together, we can build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future featuring openness and inclusiveness, innovation-driven growth, greater connectivity, and mutually beneficial cooperation. China has always regarded ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy. China firmly supports ASEAN’s community-building as well as ASEAN’s efforts in strengthening its centrality in regional cooperation. China is ready to work with Brunei and other ASEAN countries to cement good neighborliness, to push for more concrete outcomes in various areas of our cooperation, to boost development on both sides and facilitate economic recovery within the region, and to safeguard regional and global peace and stability.

As an old Chinese saying goes, we should make good use of the current good circumstances, and not let the important opportunities slip away. The year of 2021 marks not only the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-Brunei diplomatic relations, but also the 30th anniversary of the China-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership. China gives full support to Brunei’s the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN. I believe the development of our bilateral relations will further contribute to the achievement of China’s Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 and Wawasan Brunei 2035. I have full confidence in the future of the China-Brunei cooperation.

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