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China OKs Sihanoukville consulate

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Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian meets new Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun on Thursday. Photo supplied

China OKs Sihanoukville consulate

An information centre for Chinese nationals and a Chinese consulate will be established in Sihanoukville following a meeting between new provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun and Chinese ambassador Wang Wentian, provincial spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday.

During Thursday’s meeting, Chamroeun requested Wentian to help with the establishment of the information centre and Chinese consulate, Phearum said.

“Provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun requested the establishment of a consulate and a Chinese information centre to raise awareness of Cambodia’s laws among Chinese nationals living and investing in Preah Sihanouk province.

“The aim is to help them learn about Cambodia’s culture and laws,” Phearum said.

He said the Chinese ambassador agreed to the governor’s request, but a date for the establishment of the consulate and centre had yet to be set.

“The ambassador just said he would urge that they are established soon,” he said.

Phearum said that to facilitate the process, the Chinese Embassy had also initiated a “safe Preah Sihanouk province scheme” which includes training in security arrangements and the use of technical materials for Chinese nationals in the province.

“When a consulate is established in Preah Sihanouk province, it means there will always be someone there to provide accurate information and statistics about Chinese nationals living in the province."

“A consulate will also make it easier for Chinese investors and tourists when issues arise in terms of security or other pressing concerns,” he said.

In a Facebook post on Friday, the Chinese Embassy said during the meeting between Wang and Chamroeun, both sides exchanged views on local collaboration between China and Cambodia and further promoted the construction of a new Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone.

Cambodian National Research Organisation director Sok Sokhom said the establishment of a consulate and an information centre for Chinese nationals in Preah Sihanouk province and other provinces would ease the solving of any issues that arise in each target area.

“By working closely together, it shows a concerted effort to resolve the issues that are bound to arise in the target areas."

“If there continues to be no consulate like in the past, when there are issues, only Cambodian officials themselves in the area can enforce the law – without the participation of partner countries’ law enforcement agents.

“So when a consulate is established, joint mechanisms will be devised to achieve common goals and solve issues,” Sokhom said.

He said it is important that foreigners who come to invest respect Cambodia’s legal principles.

Data released earlier this month by Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities showed that more than 90 per cent of businesses in Sihanoukville, including hotels, casinos, restaurants and massage parlours, are currently owned by hundreds of Chinese nationals.

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