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Find An Effective Way for China, Brunei to Jointly Exploit S China Sea
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China and Brunei should make joint efforts to work out an effective way to exploit the South China Sea together, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Tuesday.


China has always adhered to the policy of "shelving disputes and seeking joint exploitation," which conforms to the current situations and long-term interests of both countries, Wen stressed.


Bolkiah said that Brunei is willing to keep in contact with China on the joint exploitation in the South China Sea.


Territorial disputes emerged between Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam on the South China Sea since the 1970s,where each country claimed part of the sovereignty.


In November 2002, China and the 10-member Association of Southeastern Asian Nation (ASEAN) adopted a Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the South China Sea, laying a political foundation for possible commercial cooperation in the future between China and ASEAN countries as well as the long-term peace and stability in the region.


In March 2005, three oil companies from China, the Philippines and Vietnam signed a landmark tripartite agreement in Manila to jointly prospect oil and gas resources in the South China Sea.


Wen said since China and Brunei established diplomatic ties 15 years ago, bilateral relations had progressed smoothly and bilateral cooperation in various fields had expanded continuously.


He hoped that the two sides could grasp the current opportunities to enhance exchanges of high-level visits, expand investment, trade and economic cooperation, and facilitate cultural and educational exchanges.


Bolkiah agreed with Wen, saying Brunei hoped to keep high-level contact with China and welcomed more investments from China.


Bolkiah arrived here on Sunday to attend the commemorative summit marking the 15th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between China and the ASEAN, the third China-ASEAN Expo, and the third China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.


(Xinhua News Agency November 1, 2006)


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