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PM seeks more Chinese aid

PM seeks more Chinese aid

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Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks Monday at a linking ceremony for the Cambodia-China Prek Kdam Friendship Bridge. Cambodia is seeking $600 million from China for similar projects, he said.

Hun Sen announces push to secure up to $600 million in funding for projects including national road upgrades and hydro-projects ahead of a visit in October.

CHINA WILL BE ... RESPONSIBLE FOR BUILDING THE LONGEST ROADS IN CAMBODIA.

The government is negotiating with China to secure funding for infrastructure projects in Cambodia worth $600 million, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on Monday.

Projects include upgrading 11 national roads and building several hydropower dams. The prime minister said that the length of the road expansion project will total 1,500 kilometres.

“China will be the country responsible for building the longest roads in Cambodia,” he said during a linking celebration at the Cambodia-China Prek Kdam Friendship Bridge.

The bridge, which spans the Tonle Sap River in Kandal province, is replacing a ferry service and should save travellers both time and money, the premier said. It is due to be completed before the Khmer New Year in April 2010.

If the agreement comes to fruition, the prime minister will travel to China to take part in an official signing ceremony in October, he said.

Earlier this year, China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao pledged $15 billion in funding for members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN). Cambodia is asking for $400 million for the road-expansion projects and a further $200 million for hydropower projects.

“Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon had already submitted the proposed plans to China.… China is leading in the development of infrastructures and hydro-projects in Cambodia,” Hun Sen told a crowd of hundreds on Monday.

In 2007, China pledged around $600 million to Cambodia for the construction of two bridges – Prek Kdam and Prek Tamak – as well as National Road 8 and the road that connects Kratie province with Mondulkiri province.

Cambodia has so far spent a total of $6.7 billion of Chinese capital, including $1.4 billion on infrastructure, $4 billion on tourism and about $300 million on agriculture.

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