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JOINT PRESS RELEASE ON THE SECOND MEETING OF
THE JOINT STEERING COMMITTEE
BETWEEN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
AND BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

2021/01/16

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 14 JANUARY 2021

1. On 14 January 2021, the Second Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee between the People's Republic of China and Brunei Darussalam was co-chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi of the People's Republic of China and Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Haji Erywan bin Pehin Haji Mohd. Yusof of Brunei Darussalam . Also in attendance was Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah of Brunei Darussalam.

2. Both sides expressed pleasure that China-Brunei Darussalam relations as Strategic Cooperative Partners continue to be strengthened. Both sides agreed to, under the guidance and leadership of the two heads of states, enhance political mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial economic cooperation, strengthen people-to-people exchanges, and develop cooperation in areas of mutual interest in the international stage.

3. Both sides expressed pleasure that the year 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, highlighting that it is a significant milestone for China and Brunei Darussalam relations. Both sides announced the launching of activities to commemorate the anniversary, and looked forward to bilateral cooperation despite the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

4. China expressed support for Brunei Darussalam's chairmanship of ASEAN in 2021, and commended Brunei Darussalam's theme of "We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper'.

5. Brunei Darussalam congratulated China on the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and commended China's efforts in eliminating poverty and improving the living standards of the Chinese people, further expressing confidence that China will be successful in completing the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

6. Brunei Darussalam welcomed China's proposal to look into ways of synergising China's Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 with Brunei Darussalam's Wawasan 2035 towards further promoting bilateral relations. Brunei Darussalam further reiterated its commitment to strengthening cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. China expressed support towards Brunei Darussalam's national development goals, and further reiterated its best wishes towards the successful realisation of the Brunei Darussalam Wawasan 2035.

7. Both sides recalled the successful Inaugural Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) held in Beijing in 2020, further recalling the fruitful discussions on ways to further strengthen bilateral relations. Both sides also reiterated the importance of the Joint Steering Committee as an overarching mechanism providing strategic direction on cooperation between China and Brunei Darussalam.

8. Both sides re-emphasised efforts to work towards establishing several working groups to discuss future cooperation in the ten (10) areas designated in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Brunei Darussalam on Establishing a Joint Steering Committee, namely economic, commercial and technical areas; bilateral trade and investments; legal and judicial; energy; information and communications technology; transportation; maritime; construction; industry; science, technology and innovation. Towards this end, both sides welcomed the early finalisation of the Terms of Reference of the Joint Steering Committee.

9. Both sides announced the establishment of a working group on energy cooperation and agreed to work towards establishing working groups on areas related to maritime cooperation, agriculture and fisheries cooperation, as well as tourism cooperation and people-to-people exchanges under the Joint Steering Committee. Both sides also agreed to consider the Terms of Reference of these respective working groups as soon as possible.

10. China commended the Brunei Darussalam Government's successful efforts in managing COVID-19 in the country. Brunei Darussalam further commended China's efforts in handling the COVID-19 pandemic domestically, and praised its efforts in leading global recovery efforts including by ensuring Chinese vaccines are a global public good. China and Brunei Darussalam agreed to intensify collaboration in the area of vaccine procurement and deployment.

11.Both sides agreed to further deepen the cooperation of Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor as a linking hub between the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the New Land-Sea Corridor, and agreed to support the development of the second phase of Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd.

12. Both sides acknowledged and agreed to strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation between China and Brunei Darussalam in various areas, including trade and investment, energy, agriculture and fisheries, connectivity, tourism, health, defence, and people-to-people exchanges. Both sides also encouraged to explore new cooperation in areas of artificial intelligence, 5g and mega-data.

13. Both sides emphasised the importance of holding regular dialogue on economic, trade and investment, including through the Consultative Meeting on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation (COMTIEC), and looked forward to convening the next meeting in the near future.

14. Both sides noted the steady progress of agricultural and fisheries cooperation, and agreed to strengthen cooperation in these areas, particularly for the exportation of aquatic products. In this regard, both sides looked forward to the signing of the Protocol between the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism of Brunei Darussalam on Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Sanitary Requirements for Farmed Aquatic Products to be Imported from Brunei Darussalam to the People's Republic of China as soon as possible.

15. Both sides acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven the importance of cooperation in the health sector, and looked forward to enhancing collaboration in this sector.

16. Both sides acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the airline and tourism industry, and noted the postponement of the "China-Brunei Darussalam Year of Tourism". Towards this end, both sides expressed hope that as the world looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and connecting flights and people-to-people exchanges between China and Brunei Darussalam can safely resume, and welcomed the announcement of a fast lane arrangement between both countries. Both sides also agreed to explore further cooperation for the establishment of green lane in ensuring stability and security of industrial and supply chains. Both sides expressed the view that these initiatives would expedite further confidence on the safe movement of peoples and travel as well as enhance people-to-people exchanges between both countries.

17. Both sides welcomed the ongoing efforts to enhance the China – BIMP-EAGA cooperation. In this regard, China reiterated its support for Brunei Darussalam's role as a hub within the BIMP-EAGA sub-region, by focusing, among others, on the development of Muara Port of Brunei Darussalam.

18. Both sides expressed pleasure that the year 2021 also marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations between China and ASEAN, and looked forward to the commemorative activities. Both sides agreed to further advance the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership to new heights. Brunei Darussalam welcomed China's firm commitment in supporting ASEAN's centrality in the regional architecture and China's active participation in and contribution to various processes, including China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Both sides looked forward to further discussions on the building of the East Asia Economic community (EAEc), and expressed pleasure with the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, and looked forward to its early ratification.

19.Both sides agreed to continue efforts towards enhancing China-ASEAN maritime cooperation including by exploring projects to cooperate in marine economic cooperation, including marine finance, maritime connectivity, marine science and technology promotion and application, and marine environmental protection; encouraging partnership on blue economy between China and ASEAN; and promoting cooperation on marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas and marine resources. These undertakings will further strengthen China-ASEAN cooperation in areas of mutual interest, bringing tangible benefits to our peoples, as well as contributing to the promotion of peace, stability, prosperity and sustainability in the region.

20.Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, stability and safety in the South China Sea, and the importance of resolving the territorial and jurisdictional disputes through peaceful dialogue and consultations by sovereign states directly concerned, and in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Both sides also reiterated their commitment to work together with other ASEAN Member States towards the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety, and work towards the early conclusion and adoption of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

21. Both sides agreed that the third meeting of the Joint Steering Committee would be held at a mutually convenient time for both sides.

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