Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China pledges $215m in loans and grants at public-private talks

China pledges $215m in loans and grants at public-private talks

China pledges $215m in loans and grants at public-private talks

081204_03_2.jpg
081204_03_2.jpg

Fund package offered by Chinese officials in Beijing last month to boost construction, education, health and tourism sectors

Photo by:
Heng Chivoan

China's Minister of Public Security Meng Jiangzhu (left) is shown attending a meeting on Sunday. 

A VISITING Chinese government-business delegation signed an agreement Wednesday granting Cambodia  US$215 million in loans and grants, which officials say will further bolster economic, trade and political links between the two countries.

The funds, pledged by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during last month's Asia-Europe Meeting in Beijing, include $200 million in loans for infrastructure, health, education and tourism, and an additional $14.52 million in loans and grants, said Information Minister Khieu Kanharith.

We have worked together for fruitful results and continue to strengthen ties.

"We have worked together for fruitful results and continue to strengthen the diplomatic ties established by the past leaders of the two countries," he said Wednesday.
"The two countries approach the 50th anniversary [of diplomatic relations] with good friendship and cooperation, which we will take to the next stage."

Khieu Kanharith added that China's development would contribute to the peace and development of the region, and that Cambodia had again affirmed its support for the One-China Policy - a central pillar of Beijing's ideology.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Yim Sovann said that he welcomed all aid from the international community, but warned that the injection of large amounts of Chinese aid could create accountability concerns.

"We see that China is very active in supporting Cambodia, but they have never considered the corruption issues within the government," he said.

"I think widespread corruption will make  loans or aid from the international community diverge from their aim of helping Cambodian people."

The Chinese delegation, headed by Jia Qingling, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, arrived in Phnom Penh Tuesday for a four-day visit that includes meetings with King Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior officials. 

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