Chinese President Xi Jinping met with King Norodom Sihamoni in Hangzhou, the capital city of China’s Zhejiang province, during the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games.

The focus of their discussion revolved around enhancing bilateral friendship and cooperation, with a particular emphasis on achieving the goal of building a community of common destiny between the two nations.

According to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, Xi stated that the bilateral relations have exemplified principles of diplomacy, friendship, honesty, mutual benefit and solidarity, principles he affirmed a decade ago.

“We have supported Cambodia in following a developmental path that aligns with our national conditions and terms, maintaining stability and development, and playing an essential role on the international and regional stages,” he added.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, noted on September 23 that China continually prioritises the development of bilateral relations with the Kingdom and holds special respect for the bonds of friendship with members of the royal family. He conveyed Xi’s commitment to working closely with Cambodia to achieve their shared goal of building a harmonious community.

Reflecting on the historical ties, King Sihamoni noted the long-established relationships fostered by the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and previous Chinese leaders.

“Cambodia is ready to collaborate with China on the Belt and Road Initiative [BRI] and build a future of shared interests. Under [Xi’s] leadership, China is continuously making contributions to the promotion of solidarity and friendship among the peoples of Asia,” he said.

Seun Sam, a policy analyst at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, noted the frequent meetings between the leaders of the two nations, saying they demonstrate a commitment to strengthening relations and fostering closeness.

“Cambodia should identify strengths and advantages to further develop an ironclad relationship with China. Considering China’s economic and military might, leveraging this relationship is very important,” he said.