BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- China and Brunei pledged on Friday to further consolidate bilateral cooperation in various areas and contribute more to regional peace and progress.
The two countries are close partners, they said in a joint statement released after talks between visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Bruneian Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
Both countries are committed to pursuing common development and prosperity, and ready to strengthen their strategic cooperative relationship, which was established in April during Hassanal's visit to China.
The two sides agreed to maintain frequent exchanges and strengthen bilateral consultations at all levels, including diplomatic, political and economic consultations, and pledged to further enhance bilateral cooperation in such areas as economy, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries, defense, education and people-to-people exchanges.
China and Brunei expressed their satisfaction with their ongoing energy cooperation and welcomed the recent signing of a deal between China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Brunei National Petroleum Company Sendirian Berhad on establishing a joint venture on oil field services.
They agreed to study other aspects of joint exploration and exploitation of maritime oil and gas resources by relevant enterprises of the two countries in line with the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
Brunei, said the statement, appreciates China's initiatives to upgrade the free trade area between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), establish an Asian infrastructure investment bank, and launch a host of projects with support from the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund.
Meanwhile, the two sides reiterated their commitment to intensifying consultations on subjects of common interest in regional and international frameworks.
As regards the South China Sea issue, they underscored the importance of resolving territorial and jurisdictional disputes through peaceful dialogue and consultations by sovereign states directly concerned.
They reiterated their commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea, stressing that consultations on a code of conduct should be pushed forward in a gradual and step-by-step manner and on the basis of consensus.