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Cambodian politicians, scholars hail Chinese President Xi's signed article on Sino-Cambodian ties

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

10-12-2016 21:21 BJT

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PHNOM PENH, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian politicians and scholars applauded Chinese President Xi Jinping's signed article published in a leading Cambodian newspaper on Wednesday, saying that the article reflects Xi's sincere view of Cambodia as a true friend of China.

Xi's article titled "China and Cambodia: Good Neighbors and Trusted Friends" was published in the Rasmei Kampuchea Daily Newspaper, Cambodia's largest Khmer-language newspaper, on Wednesday, a day ahead of his first state visit to Cambodia.

According to the article, Xi highly values China-Cambodia friendly exchanges, which date back to more than a millennium until the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1958. He said over the past 58 years, successive leaders of both countries have maintained close interactions and developed a close bond of friendship.

China will work with Cambodia to strengthen their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in wide-ranging areas and at different levels so as to deliver greater benefit to the two peoples, Xi wrote.

China will continue to support Cambodia in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions and firmly support Cambodia in safeguarding sovereignty, maintaining domestic stability and accelerating economic development, the Chinese president said.

"I am convinced that with our concerted efforts, China-Cambodia traditional friendship will bear more fruits and that we will forever be good neighbors and genuine trusted friends," he wrote at the conclusion of his article.

Phay Siphan, the spokesman for the Cambodia Council of Ministers, said Xi's article clearly reflects China's high attention to further deepening China-Cambodia relations and to supporting Cambodia in all circumstances.

"We highly appreciate President Xi for paying such high attention to further enhancing ties and cooperation between China and Cambodia," he told Xinhua. "His upcoming visit is a great honor for Cambodia."

He said that Xi's visit would enhance all-round cooperation between Cambodia and China, especially under the framework of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The spokesman also admired China for treating all countries equally regardless of their size.

Sok Eysan, a spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), said that the article demonstrates that Xi shows great honor to Cambodia and the Cambodian people.

"Although we are a small country, China treats us equally," he told Xinhua. "Cambodia is proud to be one of China's trusted friends."

"We're confident that President Xi's visit to Cambodia will further deepen friendly relations, solidarity and all-round cooperation," Eysan said.

Mey Kalyan, a senior adviser of the Supreme National Economic Council, which is the Cambodian government's economic policy-making institution, said that Xi's message provides the Cambodian people with even more trust in closer Sino-Cambodian relations in the future.

"I'm deeply impressed by Xi's message which is comprehensive in its coverage, ranging from history to politics, to economics, and to people to people relations," he told Xinhua. "The message can profoundly touch the hearts and souls of many Cambodian people."

Chheang Vannarith, chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies, said Xi's message signified his personal attachment to Cambodia and his sincere treatment of Cambodia as a true friend of China.

"Cambodia-China bilateral relationship is special given that it is deeply rooted in history and culture and shares common visions and interests," he told Xinhua. "It is purely a natural alliance, an alliance that has been built based on mutual respect, mutual learning, mutual interest, and mutual support."

The scholar added that implementing a comprehensive and all-round strategic partnership between the two countries is the core message of President Xi.

"It clearly shows the depth and breath of the relationship. Institutionally connecting the Belt and Road initiative with the (Cambodia's) Rectangular Development strategy is crucial to effectively implement both the initiatives," he said. "It illustrates that China is not imposing its development model on Cambodia but also willing to share and learn from others. It is a new model of international relations between a big and a small country."

He said another core message is that China is firmly committed to safeguarding Cambodia's sovereignty, maintaining domestic stability and accelerating economic development.

Joseph Matthews, director of ASEAN Education Center in Phnom Penh, said Xi's pre-visit article on Sino-Cambodian relations reflect a deeper and comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

"President Xi places great importance and high value on Cambodia and its current leaders," he said.

The scholar said Xi's forthcoming visit to Cambodia will also contribute to boosting economic cooperation between the two countries under the framework of the Belt and Road initiative.

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