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|Monday, May 21, 2001, updated at 16:13(GMT+8)|
Top Legislator begins Official & Goodwill Visit to BruneiLi Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), arrived in Bandar seri Begawan from Cambodia Monday for an official goodwill visit to Brunei at the invitation of the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam.
The visit is Li's first trip to the beautiful and wealthy tropical country and also the first visit by a chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress. Li is accompanied by his wife Zhu Lin and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC Tomur Dawamat and other senior officials.
At the airport, Li received a red-carpet warm welcome and was greeted by Brunei Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Mohamad Bolkiah and his wife, accompanying minister, Minister of Communications Zakaria Sulaiman and other ministers, deputy ministers and permanent secretaries and their wives as well as senior officials from the Royal family and government. Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Qu Wenming was present to greet Li and his entourage. Other foreign envoys to Brunei were also attending the ceremony.
Following flower presentation to Li's couple by two Chinese young ladies, Li was ushered to the reviewing stand where Li, accompanied by Prince Mohamad Bolkiah, reviewed the guards of honor of the Brunei Armed Forces.
Staff members of the Chinese Embassy and representative of Chinese enterprises based in Brunei were lining up at the airport to welcome the Chinese delegation. Foreign envoys to Brunei were also present at the welcoming ceremony.
Li's trip is another important visit to Brunei by a Chinese leader following Chinese President Jiang Zemin's state visit to Brunei in November 2000 and is aimed to enhance the good-neighborly and cooperative relations between the two countries.
The visit came a week after Li had met with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in Beijing where the Sultan, together with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, jointly officiated the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High-Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the founding of the diplomatic relations between China and Brunei. The frequent exchanges of high-level visits between China and Brunei signify the growing good-neighborly relationship between the two countries.
Brunei is the second leg of Li's three-nation Asian tour which has taken him to Cambodia and will take him to South Korea.
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