Cambodian FM hails China's ties, cooperation with ASEAN, Cambodia

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-12-8 17:04:21

 Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has lauded China's excellent ties and cooperation with ASEAN and Cambodia, saying that the close ties have brought peace, stability and development in the region.

"China is the first country to establish with ASEAN in 2003 the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity that covers the comprehensive and in-depth areas of political, security, economic, and social cooperation," he said at the 6th World Chinese Economic Forum in southwest China's Chongqing city last week and his speech was released to the Cambodian media on Monday.

"This Strategic Partnership has significantly contributed to peaceful cooperation, stability and prosperity of the region," said Hor Namhong, who is also a deputy prime minister.

He said in the area of trade, China continues to be ASEAN's largest trading partner since 2009, while ASEAN continues to be China's third largest trading partner since 2011.

According to ASEAN statistics, the two-way trade volume reached 350 billion US dollars in 2013, representing an increase of 9.7 percent year on year, he said.

On the investment side, China has committed 10 billion US dollars to China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund in 2010, and China announced the injection of an additional 10 billion US dollars in 2011.

"Moreover, ASEAN also very much appreciates China's bold initiative to set up last October, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), in which Cambodia and eight ASEAN member states are founding members, with a funding of 100 billion US dollars to provide financial support to regional infrastructure," he said.

Sharing his view on the Chinese initiatives on "the Economic Belt along the Silk Road" and the "Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century," Hor Namhong said the "Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century" will have a clear win-win strategic significance for China with its southern neighborhood, in particular with Southeast Asia.

"Cambodia hopes that the AIIB, coupled with the Silk Road Fund of 40 billion US dollars announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping last month in Beijing, would contribute to providing great opportunities for the development of infrastructure in the region, including Southeast Asia," he said.

Commenting on the Cambodia-China relations, the minister said China's cooperation with Cambodia was elevated to the level of a " Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Cooperation" in 2010.

In term of investment, China ranked the largest investor in Cambodia with the cumulative investments of 10.1 billion US dollars in the last two decades.

He said China's official development assistance to Cambodia amounted to 3.07 billion US dollars in the form of concessional loans and grants.

"I am confident that as the Chinese economy continuously rises, it will certainly boost the overall worldwide development," he said.

"Moreover, I think that with the Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and China and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, it would generate new impetus to greater regional cooperation prosperity and sustain lasting peace in the region."

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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