China-Brunei ties expanding, says envoy

James Kon

The areas of China-Brunei cooperation are expanding from petrochemical, infrastructure, tourism, banking and port operations to fishery, e-commerce, and epidemic prevention and control, said Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong.

Speaking at the gathering held by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam at Dynamic Cafe for around 40 Bruneian China alumni recently, she said “educational cooperation has developed rapidly as well”.

Some have already graduated and are now working in government agencies and private companies including Chinese-invested companies in Brunei, while others are continuing their studies online.

The ambassador also shared the latest developments of China and its bilateral relations with Brunei Darussalam.

The ambassador said, “This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-Brunei diplomatic relations. Within such a short time, the China-Brunei relations have improved. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has visited China 12 times. During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Brunei in 2018, the two heads of state elevated the bilateral relations to strategic cooperative partnership. Political mutual trust has seen constant consolidation.”

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong in a group photo with Bruneian China alumni. PHOTO: JAMES KON

She added, “Over the past 30 years, bilateral trade has grown from less than USD10 million to USD1.9 billion, an increase of more than 200 times. Two-way investment has grown rapidly from scratch. The Muara Port, managed by a China-Brunei joint venture, has seen steady improvement in its effectiveness and profits. Many advanced technologies and patents were applied in the construction of the Pulau Muara Besar Bridge, demonstrating the advanced level of bridge construction.”

The ambassador also said, “Every year, the Chinese Government provides government scholarships to Bruneian students, and scholarships for Youth of Excellence Scheme of China (YES CHINA) to students from ASEAN member countries.

“Some universities, like Sun Yat-sen University, also offer scholarships to students from ASEAN member countries. In Brunei, the cooperation between Hengyi Industries, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and Zhejiang University began in 2014.

“To date, 80 students have graduated and started working in Hengyi, serving the development of Brunei’s downstream oil and gas industry. Cooperation in China-Brunei vocational education has also made positive progress.

“It is my hope that you play your role as a bond of friendship and a bridge of cooperation between our two countries. I also hope that more of you can work in Chinese companies in Brunei, and make greater contributions to the development of China-Brunei relations.”