Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn said on Sunday that relations and mutual political trust between Cambodia and China are now stronger than ever due to frequent high-level exchanges between the two countries’ senior officials.
Sokhonn’s remarks followed his return from an official visit to China from Thursday to Saturday, where he met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.
A press release from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued on Saturday said the meeting between Sokhonn and Wang was amicable and covered a wide range of issues.
The ministers shared the view that relations and mutual trust between Cambodia and China are now at an all-time high, thanks to the frequent high-level exchanges, which shouldbe maintained, the press release said.
It said the two countries agreed to work closely to ensure the successful implementation of the Action Plan 2019-2023 on Building China-Cambodia Community of Shared Future, which was signed last April.
The plan aims to bring about closer political and security ties, expand investment, trade and economic relations and increase tourism and cultural exchange.
Sokhonn stressed the importance of cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to promote connectivity and resolved to ensure that BRI projects in Cambodia become an exemplar for future partnerships.
He said the two ministers expressed their determination to work closely with other Asean members to enhance the Asean-China Strategic Partnership and agreed that it would be beneficial for regional development.
Premier Li expressed great satisfaction with relations between Cambodia and China, which he said were based on mutual respect and “win-win cooperation”.
Li said China will continue to assist Cambodia’s socio-economic development and will provide full support to ensure the success of the Asem13 Summit which will be held in Cambodia next year.
The biennial Asem Summit is a forum for political dialogue which serves to enhance relations and various forms of cooperation between its partners.
It was officially established in 1996 at the Asem1 Summit in Bangkok by the then 15-member states of the EU and the European Commission, the then seven Asean member states and China, Japan and South Korea.
A series of enlargements saw additional EU member states join, as well as India, Mongolia, Pakistan and the Asean Secretariat in 2008, Australia, New Zealand and the Russian Federation in 2010, Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland in 2012, followed by Croatia and Kazakhstan in 2014.
The Asem partnership currently has 53 partners – 51 countries plus the EU and the Asean Secretariat.