Phnom Penh – In a significant step towards bolstering bilateral relations, Cambodia and China have pledged to enhance their ‘diamond cooperation’ and have designated 2024 as the Year of People-to-People Exchange. This commitment was underscored during a meeting between Cambodian and Chinese officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
According to Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP), the meeting featured discussions between H.E. SOK Chenda Sophea, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, and H.E. LOU Qinjian, Member of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress and Chairman of its Foreign Affairs Committee. The dialogue occurred amid the celebration of the 65th anniversary of Cambodia-China diplomatic relations and the Cambodia-China Friendship Year.
During the meeting, both sides acknowledged the remarkable progress in Cambodia-China relations and reiterated their dedication to strengthening the ‘diamond cooperation’ framework. This initiative aims to deepen the building of a Cambodia-China Community with a Shared Future in the new era, enhancing collaboration across various sectors.
H.E. LOU Qinjian congratulated Cambodia on the successful organization of its general election and the formation of its new government. He expressed confidence in Cambodia’s continued progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei HUN Manet.
H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the high voter turnout and support for the Royal Government, attributing it to effective COVID-19 control and improved living standards. He expressed gratitude to China for its support in Cambodia’s socio-economic development, including providing COVID-19 vaccines.
The meeting also focused on the achievements under the Belt and Road Initiative, such as the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway and the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport. Both countries emphasized the need to increase Chinese investment in Cambodia and transform Preah Sihanouk Province into a multi-purposed special economic zone.
Looking ahead to the Year of People-to-People Exchange in 2024, the officials discussed attracting more Chinese tourists and increasing direct flights from China to Cambodia, especially to Siem Reap. The implementation of strategic initiatives, including the “Industrial and Technological Corridor” and the “Fish and Rice Corridor,” was also underscored as a priority.
This meeting highlights the deepening relationship between Cambodia and China, focusing on collaboration in various sectors and cultural exchange to foster mutual understanding and development.