Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Yue Yuewei)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen here on Wednesday on deepening mutually beneficial cooperation.
Li noted that China and Cambodia enjoy a deep traditional friendship, a high degree of political mutual trust, and fruitful practical cooperation in various fields.
In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a successful visit to Cambodia. In 2020, Xi awarded Cambodian Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk the Friendship Medal of the People's Republic of China, Li said, noting that both events marked new chapters in China-Cambodia friendship.
Pointing out that Hun Sen was the first foreign leader to visit China after the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, Li said that it has left a deep impression on the Chinese people, adding that he is very glad that his first trip abroad in the almost three years during the pandemic is to Phnom Penh to attend the East Asia leaders' meetings and pay an official visit to Cambodia.
China congratulates Cambodia on its new progress in economic and social development, Li said, adding that China views all countries, regardless of their size, as equals and maintains that all countries should observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
China supports Cambodia in taking a development path that meets its national context and playing a more important role on international and regional platforms, Li said.
China stands ready to enhance high-level interaction and communication with Cambodia, support each other on respective core interests and major concerns, and promote continued and sound development of China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation to the benefit of their people, Li said.
Li pointed out that next year will mark the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, adding that it will be a good opportunity for the two countries to make the multiple events under the China-Cambodia Year of Friendship a success.
China is ready to support Cambodia in promoting technology-driven and industrialized agriculture, and will increase imports of fine Cambodian agricultural products, push forward major projects, and support Cambodia in accelerating industrialization, he said.
China will also assist Cambodia in its demining efforts, deliver on the assistance projects of road construction, health care and water supply in its best efforts to help Cambodia improve people's lives, Li said.
The two countries will deepen cooperation on science and technology, education and culture, and increase direct flights, Li said, adding that China welcomes Cambodian students to study in China.
Stressing that a stable and prosperous Cambodia has great significance for regional stability, development and the growth of China-ASEAN relations, Li said that China fully supports Cambodia in hosting the leaders' meetings on East Asian cooperation as the current ASEAN Chair, firmly supports ASEAN unity and centrality, support the ASEAN-led regional cooperation architecture as well as a bigger role of ASEAN in promoting international and regional peace and development.
For his part, Hun Sen said that Cambodia and China are iron-clad friends and the bilateral friendship is endorsed and supported by the Cambodian people, adding that there is a lot more to do in advancing Cambodia-China cooperation.
Noting that Cambodia firmly upholds the one-China policy and supports building the Cambodia-China community with a shared future, Hun Sen said that Cambodia will work with China to stage successful commemorations next year for the 65th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, enhance interaction and cooperation on trade, investment, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, public health, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation.
Cambodia respects the principles set out in the UN Charter about upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states and stands ready to enhance coordination with China under multilateral frameworks to jointly safeguard international and regional peace, stability and development, said Hun Sen.
The two sides also had an in-depth exchange of views on international and regional issues of mutual interest.
After the meeting, Li and Hun Sen jointly witnessed the signing of more than 10 bilateral cooperation documents on agriculture, infrastructure, education, traditional Chinese medicine, customs, science and technology and climate response, among others.
They inaugurated the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway and attended the handover ceremony of its supporting livelihood project. The two sides will issue a joint communique.
Prior to the meeting, Hun Sen held a grand welcome ceremony for Li at the Peace Palace. After they stepped onto the review stand, the military band played the national anthems of the two countries. Accompanied by Hun Sen, Li then reviewed the guard of honor.
On Wednesday afternoon, Li laid wreathes at the Independence Monument of Cambodia and the Statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk.