Peace and security key to strong Asean-China ties

AS PEACE and security are paramount and continued to be enjoyed by the people in the region, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday said it is important that Asean and China’s officials continue to work closely to identify common areas that both can implement together such as the direct communication link and search and rescue at sea.

His Majesty said this in a titah during the 17th Asean-China Summit at the Myanmar International Convention Centre, Nay Pyi Taw, attended by heads of state and government of Asean and Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

His Majesty also attended the 2nd Asean-US Summit, 17th Asean-Plus Three Summit, Ninth East Asia Summit, and the handover ceremony of Asean Chairmanship to Malaysia yesterday before leaving Nay Pyi Taw.

“Asean and China should continue to implement the commitment to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC),” added His Majesty.

His Majesty also welcomed the proposal for Asean and China’s officials to look into the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighbourliness. These initiatives will reflect Asean and China’s joint commitment to ensure long term trust and confidence in one another, said the monarch.

In the titah, His Majesty said that Asean dialogue relations with China have continued to expand comprehensively over the years and it has become one of the most important areas of cooperation for regional development. As an active partner and very close friend, Asean has always valued the contributions and support by China and hopes to continue this for mutual benefit.

His Majesty further stated that historically, Asean and China’s relations have been built on trade, through both maritime and land routes.

The interactions between Asean and China’s peoples have enabled them not only to exchange goods, but also knowledge, culture and traditions. It is therefore important that Asean and China’s peoples maintain their close friendship in order to enhance the already strong trust and mutual understanding. His Majesty said he was pleased that many activities were held in support of people-to-people exchanges as Asean and China commemorate this year as the Asean-China Cultural Exchange Year.

His Majesty recalled that last year in Bandar Seri Begawan, Premier Li had proposed initia-tives that would take the Asean-China economic cooperation to the next level.

Asean and China’s free trade agreement was the first that both sides undertook at the beginning of the millennium. It signified the confidence they have in one another in developing and integrating Asean and China’s economies. Therefore, the upgra-ding of Asean and China’s free trade agreement and the signing of the MoU to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are indeed significant for the region.

His Majesty was confident that both the trade agreements and the role to be played by the AIIB will further enhance Asean and China’s connectivity, dynamism and attractiveness for business and investment.

All these efforts will contribute towards achieving Asean and China’s trade target of US$1 trillion by 2020.

With this in mind, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will safeguard Asean and China’s continued growth and prosperity far into the future, His Majesty said. - Borneo Bulletin (14 November 2014)