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2019/04/25

Recently, upon the upcoming second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Wang Wentian, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Cambodia published an article entitled "Jointly Building Belt and Road, Forging China-Cambodia Community of Shared Future" on International Business Daily. The full text is as follows:

China and Cambodia are close and friendly neighbors. The close and special relationship between China and Cambodia is characterized by deep historical feelings. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 61 years ago, the two countries have always understood and supported each other. In recent years, thanks to the strategic guidance of the two leaderships and the joint efforts of the two peoples through the building of Belt and Road Initiative, the traditional China-Cambodia friendship is growing more and more vibrant, and the bilateral relationship is reaching the best-ever period in history.

Long-term political mutual trust makes us ironclad friends. As early as 1955, Premier Zhou Enlai and King Father Sihanouk met at the Bandung Conference and opened up a new chapter in China-Cambodia friendship. Over the decades, the leaders of the two countries exchanged frequent visits like close relatives. King Father Sihanouk regarded China as the second motherland. President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Cambodia in 2016 charted the course and drew the blueprint for the development of China-Cambodia relations in the new era. Premier Li Keqiang’s successful visit to Cambodia in 2018 injected new vitality into China-Cambodia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation. At the beginning of 2019, Prime Minister Hun Sen paid a successful visit to China and reached important consensus with President Xi Jinping on building a community of shared future with strategic significance between China and Cambodia. Cambodia has always pursued the One China policy and firmly supported China's position on issues concerning China's core interests. China always respects Cambodia's sovereignty and independence as well as its choice of development path that suits its national conditions, and does its utmost to provide support for Cambodia’s efforts in economic development and improvement of people’s livelihoods. Mutual support and cooperation has become a distinctive feature of the ironclad friendship between China and Cambodia.

Alignment of development strategies helps achieve mutual benefit and win-win Progress. Cambodia is an important anchor along the Belt and Road. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the alignment of Belt and Road Initiative and Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy, and is willing to work together with the Cambodian side to continuously deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and realize shared development and prosperity in the spirit of Belt and Road Initiative’s extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Since the launch of Belt and Road Initiative, China and Cambodia have continued to deepen cooperation in such fields as production capacity, trade and investment, agriculture and infrastructure. Bilateral economic and trade cooperation has achieved many "firsts". According to the statistics from Cambodia, China is Cambodia's largest source of investment and largest trading partner. China has built more bridges, more roads and more optical fiber cable in Cambodia than any other country. Early this year, the two sides set a goal of reaching a bilateral trade volume of 10 billion US dollars in 2023, and will start the pre-feasibility study of the China-Cambodia free trade agreement in due course. It is believed that with the continuous advancement of the Belt and Road development, the economic complementarity between China and Cambodia will be fully released, the economic and trade cooperation between China and Cambodia will surely usher in a golden era with comprehensive accelerated development and achieve more fruitful results.

Extensive cultural and people-to-people exchanges bring our hearts closer. China-Cambodia friendship has always been rooted in the hearts of the two peoples. The rapid development of cultural and people-to-people exchanges in recent years has become an important driving force for the comprehensive development of our bilateral relations. In 2018, more than 2 million Chinese tourists visited Cambodia, and more than 100,000 Cambodian tourists visited China, which showed an increase of more than 60%. China has become Cambodia’s largest source of foreign tourists. There are now 398 weekly flights between the two sides. The Chinese government scholarship program has received more than 2,000 Cambodian students. The Confucius Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, co-organized by China and Cambodia, has provided training classes for more than 80,000 students in 12 provinces and several national institutions. The large-scale cultural performance of Angkor's Smile is very popular with tourists. The two countries will also take the opportunity of the 2019 China-Cambodia Cultural and Tourism Year to further expand personnel exchanges, promote people-to-people bond, and foster a broader public support for the joint development of China-Cambodia community of shared future with strategic significance.

We have every reason to believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, China and Cambodia will be able to give full play to the advantages of political mutual trust, economic complementarity and people-to-people bond. Through the deeper alignment of Belt and Road Initiative and the Rectangular Strategy, the two countries will build a community of shared future with strategic significance that is mutually beneficial and interdependent, so as to better benefit our two peoples.

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