Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen and Xi herald continued strong ties

Hun Sen and Xi herald continued strong ties

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday. HUN SEN”S FACEBOOK PAGE

Hun Sen and Xi herald continued strong ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Hun Sen heralded the continued strong bilateral ties between their nations in a meeting on Monday as part of the latter’s ongoing state visit to the Asian giant. In the meeting, China also committed $588 million in aid to the Kingdom.

President Xi emphasised the strong diplomatic ties the two countries had enjoyed over the past 60 years, adding that he believed that with Chinese cooperation, Cambodia was set to undergo a period of sustained economic growth.

“The Belt and Road Initiative will continue to strengthen and expand China’s cooperation with Cambodia. Both sides will continue to pay close attention to expand cooperation at the regional and international levels."

“At the moment, though there are uncertainties in international relations, the relationship between China and Cambodia has truly offered a lot of benefits for both countries. Through this, China will continue to enhance cooperation with Cambodia, especially its contribution to Cambodia’s development."

“Cambodia will be more successful in the next 60 years. Like a good neighbour, China supports [Prime Minister Hun Sen] and the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP], which won a landslide victory in the general election of July 2018,” Xi said.

The prime minister expressed his pleasure to be back in China. He also thanked the Chinese government and its people for warmly welcoming Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk during their recent visits to China for medical check-ups.

Hun Sen updated Xi on the situation in the Kingdom following the general election, government reforms and measures his party were putting into place to stop foreign interference in Cambodian affairs.

He also highlighted the establishment of the Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendations last year, a forum made up of the government and political parties that took part in the elections, 19 of which have joined.

During the meeting, Hun Sen urged Xi to encourage Chinese investors to invest more in the Kingdom, especially by opening new factories. He also affirmed his commitment to strengthening bilateral ties, saying that this year would see further cultural and tourism exchanges between the two countries.

Hun Sen further confirmed that he would join the second Belt and Road Forum that is due to be held in April this year. The first forum was held in Beijing in July 2017, drawing 29 foreign heads of state, as well as representatives from over 130 countries.

The Belt and Road Initiative remains Xi’s signature foreign policy plan, with it intended to boost investments in ports, power plants and other infrastructure across more than 80 countries from Asia, Europe and Africa.

Xi said that China and Cambodia will continue to formulate comprehensive cooperation plans across all sectors, including politics, security and economics.

He added that China will import 400,000 tonnes of Cambodian rice this year, and will strive to boost the trade volume between the two countries to $10 billion by 2023. Further to this, Xi committed four billion yuan ($588 million) in aid between 2019 to 2021 to facilitate

Cambodia’s ongoing development strategy.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said that China’s aid has increased Cambodia’s dependence on that country, which is “the largest donor, biggest creditor, largest rice buyer, largest investor, the largest contributor to Cambodia’s largest economic development and guarantor of Cambodia’s territorial sovereignty that is most influential and most powerful”.

Political analyst and Royal Academy of Cambodia president Sok Touch said Sino-Cambodian ties were more important than ever, as the EU continues to exert economic and political pressure – most notably threats to withdraw the Everything But Arms preferential agreement – over what it claims is a decline in democracy in the Kingdom.

“China can use Cambodia as a [positive] example to show other countries what happens when any country holds hands with China."

“The era of Xi Jinping with Hun Sen must show the world that holding hands with China is not as bad as they said."

“The benefit for Cambodia is that the Chinese bring money to invest. But we as the landlord must think about the master plan – where are the special economic zones, what areas should be preserved and what should be developed."

“China’s intention is to strengthen solidarity, history and politics, while the intention of the West is democracy, transparency, human rights and its own interests,” he said.

Ministry of Economy and Finance Secretary of State Vongsey Vissoth could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.


  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Siem Reap action plan for tourism in motion

    The action plan for the Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan (2022-2023), focusing on six priority destinations, has been implemented to boost tourism and regain pre-Covid tourist numbers in the province. The action plan sets out 17 strategies and 37 implementation activities for: Angkor Archaeological Park, Phnom