His Majesty holds bilateral meeting with Hu Jintao
By James Kon in Beijing

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday afternoon held a bilateral meeting with Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China.

The meeting was held at the Fujian Hall, Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

During the meeting, His Majesty thanked the Chinese president for the hospitality accorded to His Majesty and the Brunei Darussalam delegation and congratulated the president for hosting this year's ASEM Summit.

Whilst expressing satisfaction with the existing relations between Brunei Darussalam and China, both leaders explored ways to further strengthen the relationship in various areas, such as foreign direct investment, defence, education and culture.

His Majesty noted with satisfaction on the rapid development of Brunei Darussalam - China trade relations and suggested for the two sides to continue to find ways in maintaining this progress.

His Majesty expressed pleasure in working together with China as the coordinators in ASEM and attached importance to ASEM as a useful forum for strengthening relations between Asia and Europe.

His Majesty and the president also discussed regional and International developments.

Present at the meeting were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Ibrahim, Second Minister of Finance, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Magdalene Teo Chee Siong, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to China.

Hu expressed his appreciation of Brunei's support for China in hosting the meeting.

As Asia's coordinator, Brunei has undertaken a large amount of work in the preparations for the meeting, he said, adding that China was willing to continue to cooperate with Brunei to achieve the meeting's success, Xinhua reported.

He said since China and Brunei established diplomatic relations 17 years ago, the bilateral relations have been greatly improved, and the two countries had maintained good communication and coordination in international and regional affairs.

He said China was willing to further cooperate with Brunei in terms of transport, communications, energy, agriculture, infrastructure construction and tourism in order to promote Sino-Bruneian relations to a new stage.

His Majesty hoped the two countries could enhance cooperation in terms of rice production and energy development.

Established as a high-level forum between governments of Asia and Europe, the ASEM this year is expected to focus on how to respond to the current global financial crisis. Later in the evening, His Majesty consented to attend the Asean Leaders working dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Also present at the dinner was Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. - Borneo Bulletin (24th Oct 2008)