Chinese President Xi Jinping has committed another 20 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Cambodia, five million of which are expected to arrive late this month.
Xi made the pledge on March 18 during a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to Kao Kim Hourn, a minister delegate attached to the prime minister.
This comes just over three months after Beijing announced that it would work with Phnom Penh to set up a Sinopharm jab manufacturing venture in Cambodia sometime soon. According to Ministry of Health secretary of state York Sambath, Sinopharm too has expressed willingness to work with Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian and the Kingdom on the project.
During March 18’s meeting, the two leaders also advocated for more direct flights between the two countries, as well as development projects such as roads and schools, Kim Hourn went on to say.
“Mr Xi Jinping voiced his support for Cambodia, which holds the ASEAN chairmanship in 2022, and underscored his support for ASEAN’s role in the region and in the world.
“ASEAN and China support peacekeeping, stability, development and prosperity in the region, and in particular the continued strengthening of ASEAN-China cooperation, with Cambodia as chair,” he added.
Hun Sen invited Xi to visit Cambodia at his convenience. In response, the Chinese president accepted the invitation and vowed to work with relevant institutions to prepare the visit, Kim Hourn said. Likewise, Xi also invited Hun Sen to visit China at his convenience, he added.
“[Hun Sen] thanked the Chinese president for supporting Cambodia as the ASEAN chair and for Chinese aid to Cambodia, especially vaccines, which Cambodia is in need of right now,” Kim Hourn said.