By Azim Karim
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday morning arrived at the Brunei International Airport to begin his historic two-day official visit in the Sultanate.
Upon arrival, Premier Wen Jiabao was welcomed by His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office.
Also present at the airport were Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Awang Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, Minister of Education cum the Minister in Attendance; Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Abdul Rahman bin Hj Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office; Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II; Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Hj Mohammad Yasmin bin Hj Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office; Dato Paduka Awang Hj Abdul Wahab bin Juned, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; Dato Paduka Awang Hj Bahrin bin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Finance; Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awang Halbi bin Hj Mohd Yussof, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs; Magdalene Teo Chee Siong Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the People's Republic of China, as well as permanent secretaries at the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and ambassadors.
Shortly after the arrival, HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Premier Wen Jiabao stepped on the dais to receive the royal salute, followed by the singing of the national anthems of both countries and the inspection of the guard of honour mounted by the Royal Brunei Land Forces.
The historic visit marks the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Brunei-China bilateral relations, as His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Chinese premier are set to ink cooperation agreements in the fields of energy, forestry and health as well as the establishment of friendship cities between Bandar Seri Begawan and Nanjing.
In the afternoon yesterday, the Chinese premier also visited Universiti Brunei Darussalam where he delivered a special address and interacted with the university's students.
He donated books to the UBD library and planted a Brunei-China friendship tree within the UBD campus.
Meanwhile in the evening, His Majesty consented to host an Official Banquet for the Chinese premier at Istana Nurul Iman on the sidelines of the bilateral meeting to exchange views on international and regional issues of common interest.
The two leaders have aspired to take a step forward in enhancing the bilateral relations of both countries through promoting traditional friendship and increasing cooperation, which to is be realised in the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and an action plan today.
- Borneo Bulletin
(21st Novempber 2011)