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The Asian side of the world - II

Jean-François Sabouret

Part Two. National challenges and strategies

Brunei Darussalam 2011, between diplomatic skill and hydrocarbon revenues

Marie-Sybille de Vienne

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September 2011

Located 300 km to the southwest of the northernmost point of Borneo, Brunei Darussalam is of modest size: 400,000 inhabitants (one tenth the population of Singapore) and 5765 km2 (eight times the surface of Singapore and the equivalent of Delaware), embedded in Sarawak, which is divided by the Limbang Division. Non-citizens represent some 35% of the resident population, who consist of Malaysian Malays (9%), overseas Chinese (8%), indigenous Malaysians (1%), Filipinos and Indonesians (17%).

The few written sources and archaeological discoveries indicate that Brunei appeared at the end of the 10th century as a commercial monarchy, characterized by camphor trade and integrated in the South China Sea maritime networks. Through Quanzhou, Brunei was introduced to Islam in the middle of the 13th century. Trade with China continued to develop in Brunei under the Yuan dynasty, when new competitors emerged in eastern Java. In 1292, the Mongol raid in eastern Java1 opened the way ...

© CNRS Éditions, 2015