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China Pledges to Strengthen Cooperation with Bhutan, Brunei
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Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met in Soeul separately with senior officials of Bhutan and Brunei Monday, pledging to enhance friendly cooperation with the two nations.

China always cherishes the long-standing friendship with Bhutan and respects Bhutan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, Yang said when meeting with Bhutan's Information and Communication Minister Leki Dorji at the sixth ministerial meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD).

China is willing to strengthen bilateral ties with Bhutan by enhancing cooperation and exchanges, said Yang, who also praised Bhutan for its steadfast support for China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet.

As for the issue of the China-Bhutan border, Yang said he hoped the two nations could continue their friendly consultation before reaching a just and reasonable resolution, which is acceptable to both sides.

Agreeing with Yang, Duoji said that he hoped the China-Bhutan border could remain peaceful and stable.

The exchanges between the people of Bhutan and China are steadily increasing and Bhutan will continue to stick to the one-China policy and seek enhanced cooperation with China, Duoji added.

While meeting with the Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Lim Jock Seng, Yang said that China is willing to work with Brunei to strengthen bilateral ties by enhancing cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, energy, information and communication.

Yang also praised Brunei, the current coordinating country of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, for its efforts in promoting cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China.

As for the issue of the South China Sea, Yang reiterated that China will always adhere to its position of "shelving disputes and joint exploration" and is ready to discuss with Brunei the ways ofjointly exploring the disputed maritime space.

Brunei hopes to maintain all levels of exchanges with China and promote friendly bilateral cooperation, especially in such areas as energy, tourism and aviation, said Lim, adding that he hopes the issue of the South China Sea could arrive at a just and friendly resolution.

Top diplomats from 30 Asian countries gathered here for the ACD meeting, a regional forum held Monday and Tuesday.

(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2007)

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