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Premier starts 1st Southeast Asia visit in Brunei

Updated: Oct 9,2013 5:34 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang disembarks from the plane upon his arrival at the airport in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Oct 9, 2013. At the invitation of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Li arrived in Bandar Seri Begawan on Oct 9 and started an official visit to the country. [Xinhua/Liu Jiansheng]

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Bandar Seri Begawan on Oct 9, setting in motion his first visit to Southeast Asia since assuming premiership in March.

Hailing Brunei as a “nation of peace,” Li conveyed best regards to the Bruneian government and its people from the Chinese side.

With deepened political mutual trust and remarkable achievements in economic, trade and energy cooperation, China and Brunei have maintained good communication on global and regional issues in recent years, said Li.

China stands ready to work with the Bruneian side to enhance their traditional friendship, upgrade mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to further advance their strategic cooperative relationship, said the premier.

Li was greeted by Crown Prince of Brunei Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah during a grand welcome ceremony with Bruneian characteristics at the airport.

During his stay in Brunei, which holds the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Li will attend the 16th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting, the 16th ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea leaders’ meeting and the eighth East Asia summit.

He is expected to expound China’s views and table concrete proposals on further promoting cooperation and development in the region. Main topics include upgrading the China-ASEAN free trade area, establishing an Asian infrastructure investment bank and expanding regional maritime cooperation.

In addition, the Chinese premier will hold talks with Bruneian Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and other members of the royal family to cement mutual understanding and trust.

He will also witness the signing of a joint declaration between the two countries and cooperation documents in energy and other areas.

Brunei is the first leg of Li’s ongoing Southeast Asia trip, which will also take him to Thailand and Vietnam.