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New Chinese envoy comes bearing gifts

Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo meets with Foreign Minister Prak Sokhon yesterday.
Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo meets with Foreign Minister Prak Sokhon yesterday. Heng Chivoan

New Chinese envoy comes bearing gifts

China's new ambassador to Cambodia, Xiong Bo, yesterday met with Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhon, bearing a donation of more than $10,000 worth of office equipment requested by the ministry and more than $100,000 in funding.

The equipment consisted of 20 desktop computers, 10 laptops, three copy machines, 30 printers, 10 scanners, 100 desk phones, two LCD projectors, five air conditioners and a server.

“This equipment will meet the demand of the ministry, and it”s important to help with the daily work of the ministry to be more effective,” a statement from the ministry said.

The embassy will also provide a further donation of 800,000 yuan, or about $117,800, in 2016. Chum Sounry, spokesman for the ministry, said Sokhon had expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for contributing to Cambodia's development.

The Kingdom has increasingly turned to China in recent years for aid – which doesn't come with Western-style admonitions on human rights – prompting some to accuse it of becoming a vassal state.

Cheng Hongbo, with the Chinese Embassy, said the ministry earlier this year had requested the equipment from the embassy.

The estimated value of the donated equipment was about $10,000.

“If other ministries make such request, we”ll consider it,” Hongbo said.

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