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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen
Brunei: a kingdom of unexpected treasures
    2017-August-28  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

Based on the sound of its name, and knowing that it has a Sultan as its leader, a lot of people are likely to misplace Brunei by assuming it is located in the Middle East. Imagine their surprise upon learning that it is in fact situated on the north coast of Borneo, the world’s third largest island (after Greenland and New Guinea), which it shares with the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia.

The island of Borneo lies at the dead center of what has been called Maritime Southeast Asia (as opposed to the mainland portion of the region) which is made up of the countries mentioned plus the Philippines, Singapore and Timor Leste. Quite a way from the Middle East! Brunei is completely surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak, and in fact is cut in two by a portion of that state.

Something that is well known about Brunei is this: It has enormous wealth, based on the successful exploitation of its petroleum and natural gas reserves. In fact, it is the world’s fifth-wealthiest country. It is also ranked high on the Human Development Index, and — like Libya in North Africa — carries absolutely no public debt.

This powerful position echoes the one some 500 years ago, when the Bruneian Empire is said to have controled most of Borneo, the Sulu Archipelago and modern-day Manila in the Philippines (though the Manila holding is disputed), and some other islands near Borneo. The Spanish explorer Magellan’s ships visited there in 1521, and Brunei later fought against Spain.

By the 19th century the Sultanate’s fortunes were in decline, and it ceded parts of its territory to various British interests. It became a British protectorate in 1888, was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. It ultimately gained its independence in 1984. The country industrialized in the last decade of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st. It is considered a developed country.

The people of Brunei speak Malay as well as English. Multiple other languages and dialects are also used. As Brunei is a Muslim nation, Arabic is also widely taught and used in religion.

Vocabulary:

Which word above means:

1. going downward

2. exact

3. Use or develop for profit

4. built factories, etc.

5. something that is owed, financial obligation

6. very, very large

7. put in the wrong location

8. things that happen to one

9. a kind of Muslim ruler

10. area or property owned

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