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Remarks by H.E.Ambassador Yu Hong at theOpening Ceremony of"Brunei China Year of Tourism 2020"

Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna binti Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddin Sa'adul Khairi Waddien,Ambassador at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar ,

Honorable Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism of Brunei Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Hazi Apong,

Honorable Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ishan,

Honourable Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of China H.E.Mr.Zhang Xu,

Pengiran Pengiran, Pehin Pehin, Dato Dato, Datin Datin,

Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Dear compatriots, distinguished guests, friends from media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening everyone.

On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Brunei, I wish to extend warm congratulations on the grand opening of the “Brunei China Year of Tourism 2020”, a warm welcome to all the guests present here together.

China and Brunei with a long history of exchanges and traditional friendship are good neighbors facing each other across the sea. Past few years have witnessed rapid development of China-Brunei relations. In November 2018,Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to Brunei. Last April, His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam attended the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. The bilateral relations have come to a new stage. Under the guidance of the two leaders, the cooperation between China and Brunei were fruitful in 2019, seeing frequent high-level exchanges, deepening economic and trade cooperation and thriving cultural exchanges and stronger people-to-people interaction. In particular, the joint ventures of China and Brunei like Hengyi Petrochemical Project and Muara Port Company are doing very well. Temburong bridge with the participation of the Chinese company for the construction has completed. Brunei National Pavillion opened in JD.com, one of the largest e-commerce platforms in China. The Night of Chinese Cultural and Tourism presented the Bruneian audience with wonderful Wushu and Taiji performance.The direct flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and Beijing has increased to daily services as of 14 January,2020.

In April 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping and His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam jointly announced the year of 2020 will be China-Brunei Tourism Year. The warm congratulatory messages from the leaders demonstrate their strong support to the development of bilateral relations.Tourism helps people to understand each other and enhance friendship. China has a vast territory, splendid mountains and rivers and a long history. There are 56 ethnic groups in China who live together in harmony, whose culture and religion are well respected and protected.The long history and vast land constitute rich tourism resources. We warmly welcome Bruneian friends to visit the Great Wall and the terracotta warriors, to see the pandas and the rainbow mountain, to experience the world of ice and snow, and the convenience of high-speed railway.I also suggest that Bruneian friends visit the History Exhibition Hall of the King of Boni in Nanjing, which displays the history of early China and Brunei exchanges.Last September, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna visited China and inaugurated the exhibition hall. More than 10,000 Bruneian tourists visited China in 2019, an increase of 19% over 2018.Welcome to visit the website travelchina.gov.cn to discover more about the different regions, folk cultures and seasons of China. The beauty of China is beyond your imagination.

I believe the“Brunei China Year of Tourism 2020”will further enhance the mutual understanding between the two peoples.China is ready to make joint efforts with Brunei to take tourism year as an opportunity to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in various fields, strengthen China-Brunei strategic cooperative partnership and prepare for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Brunei in 2021.

In one week time, we will celebrate the Chinese New Year.I take this opportunity to wish all the distinguished guests and friends a happy Chinese New Year.

Thank you.

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