At least 30 Chinese cities and provinces have entered into memorandums of understanding (MoU) or similar initiatives establishing relations akin to sisterhood ties with Siem Reap province to date, and few of these alliances have been as beneficial to the Kingdom’s cultural hub as that with southwestern China’s Yunnan province.

After the Covid-19 situation in Cambodia abated, representatives of Yunnan – which borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam – have expressed intent to deepen ties with Siem Reap as well as ramp up investment, and asked the provincial administration to foster cooperation and link Dali city and Siem Reap town as sister cities.

This is according to a statement posted on a verified Facebook page attributed to Siem Reap deputy provincial governor Khim Finan, at 7:46am on March 14.

The statement was issued in conjunction with a work meeting between Finan and Wang Yu, a senior officer of the Yunnan Provincial People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (YPAFFC), an influence group linked to the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Siem Reap-Yunnan relations are the “most special and fruitful” in terms of social assistance to and direct investment in the former, it said.

Offering the Smile of Angkor Grand Theater and new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport as examples, it added that the bulk of Yunnan-backed projects are large-scale, long-term and significantly contribute to economic growth in the province through the creation of jobs and other opportunities.