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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan arrived Bandar Seri Begawan Monday evening for a four-day official visit to enhance relations and cooperation with Brunei and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
On his arrival at the airport in Brunei's capital, Chang was warmly greeted by Dayang Hajah Suriyah, permanent secretary of administration and finance of the Ministry of Defense of Brunei, Chinese ambassador to Brunei Zheng Xianglin and other senior defense officials of Brunei.
While delivering a speech at the airport, Chang said steady progress had been made in China-Brunei relations since the establishment of their diplomatic ties 22 years ago.
"The two countries have conducted closer exchanges, comprehensively advanced economic and trade cooperation, continuously deepened people-to-people exchanges and maintained good communication and coordination in international and regional affairs," he said.
According to Chang, the purpose of his visit is to further promote China-Brunei defense exchanges and cooperation and further expand consensus in the security field with ASEAN countries in a bid to jointly maintain regional peace and stability.
Chang's visit coincided with the 7th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) slated for May 6-8, the highest defense mechanism within ASEAN.
On Tuesday, the Chinese defense minister will visit the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Defense Academy and attend ASEAN-China Defense Ministers' Consultative Meeting as well as a series of bilateral meetings.
Chang will pay a courtesy call on Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah at Istana Nurul Iman on Wednesday.