China will encourage domestic companies to take an active part in oil and gas exploitation in resource-rich Brunei, China's top legislator said in Beijing Wednesday.
Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said China expects to strengthen cooperation in trade and investment with Brunei -- especially in the field of oil and gas exploitation and infrastructure construction -- while meeting with Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
Wu also said China welcomes investors from Brunei to expand their business in China.
As two good neighbors, China and Brunei have enjoyed long traditional friendship, Wu said, noting that in the 13 years since the forging of their diplomatic ties, the two countries have had an frequent exchange of high-profile visits, close cooperation in various fields and effective coordination in regional and international affairs.
The good relationship between China and Brunei shows that countries with different cultural backgrounds and different ideologies can get along well with each other and achieve common prosperity, Wu acknowledged.
China's policy is to treat its neighbors well and regard them as partners, to advocate democracy in international relations and to respect cultural diversity, he said.
Wu thanked the government of Brunei for its support of both the one-China policy and the proposed free trade zone covering China and the members of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Hassanal said he and the Chinese leaders agreed to promoting bilateral relations, signing a series of official documents on cooperation during his visit.
Brunei pays great attention to the growth of trade and economies with China and to the advancement of the overall friendship between the two countries, Hassanal said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2004)