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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hu's visit to strengthen Sino-Cambodian ties

PHNOM PENH - The Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to Cambodia this week will build up stronger Sino-Cambodian ties in politics, trade and investment, Pan Guangxue, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia, said Tuesday.

Speaking in a press briefing about Hu Jintao's visit schedule to Cambodia from March 30 to April 2, Pan Guangxue said it will be the first visit of the Chinese Head of State to Cambodia in the last 12 years.

"The visit will deepen the bilateral relations in all fields, especially in politics, economics, trade, and culture," he said, adding "the China-Cambodia ties are as of good brothers, good partners, good neighbors, and good friends."

He said Hu's visit is made at the invitation of Cambodian King Norodom Sihmoni and it will be a historical landmark in the bilateral ties.

During the visit, a joint statement and several contracts are expected to be endorsed by the two countries, a move believed to help further beef up the two countries' long lasting ties since 1950s.

Hu Jintao will also visit Siem Reap's Angkor Wat temple, one of the world heritage sites, and he will visit the deteriorating Ta Keo temple in the complex of Angkor Archaeological Park, which is being renovated by Chinese and Cambodian archaeological experts with China's financial support, Pan said.

Meanwhile, Pan expressed China's gratitude on Cambodia's constant supports on China's core interests-related issues and pledged Beijing will continue assisting Phnom Penh in various economic sectors in the future, including infrastructure, stuff training, and disaster relief.

When asked about the South China Sea issue, Pan said the dispute should be solved under the framework of Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) with claimant states. China is willing to cooperate with related parties to solve the dispute under the principle of shelving differences and seeking joint development.

"Moreover, China strongly opposes the internationalization of the South China Sea dispute and do not allow non-claimant forces to interfere this issue," Pan added.

During the press briefing, Pan also highlighted fruitful relations between China and Cambodia in the fields of trade and investment.

He said, according to the statistics from the Council for the Development of Cambodia, till the end of 2011, 317 projects under construction in Cambodia were assisted by China with the total contract value of $8.9 billion, bringing China as the largest investor in this Southeast Asian nation.

On the trade side, the two-way trade had surged to $2.5 billion, 11 times over that in 2000.

The Sino-Cambodian relations had reached the level of the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation in December 2010 during Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's visit to Beijing.
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