Cambodia supports China with PM’s visit
Published: Feb 06, 2020 01:30 AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua

The chartered flight of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen landed at the Beijing Capital International Airport on Wednesday, making him the first foreign leader to visit China during the country's nationwide fight against the deadly novel conoravirus. 

Analysts noted that Cambodia's support to China manifested by the prime minister's flying visit to Beijing is of great importance and significance.

During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hun Sen highly valued China's measures to fight the virus and expressed his firm belief that China can solve the problem soon. 

"The reason why I made the decision to visit China at this special time is to show the great support of the Cambodian government and people to the Chinese government and people in their fight against the coronavirus," he said when meeting with Xi, according to China Central Television.

"A friend in need is a friend indeed," Xi told Hun Sen. "At this special moment, Cambodian people stand with us. This shows the unbreakable friendship and mutual trust between China and Cambodia."

China's Party and government hold a highly responsible attitude to Chinese people and the international community to conduct most thorough and strict measures to prevent and control the virus, Xi said.

Currently, the work of prevention and control achieved positive progress, Xi noted, adding that China has confidence and capability to win the fight against the coronavirus.    

Earlier this week, Hun Sen said during his trip to South Korea that he would like to visit Wuhan, where many Cambodian students studied, which is also the epicenter of the virus epidemic.

But due to the situation and the short time to prepare, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying said at an online press conference Wednesday that China can't arrange Hun Sen's visit to Wuhan, but promised to "take care of the Cambodian students' health and safety in China and treat them like China's own students."  

Hun Sen said on Facebook that he understands China's concerns and accepts the arrangement to give up the plan to visit Wuhan. When Hun Sun arrived at Beijing airport, where China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi was waiting for him, which showed unusual hospitality.

Before his trip to Beijing, Hun Sen posted his schedule in China on his Facebook account Wednesday noon, saying, "This is a working visit and I am scheduled to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at 5:15 pm and Chinese President Xi Jinping at 6:00."

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua

Hun Sen told Fresh News ahead of his trip to China on Wednesday that "we reaffirm our stance, which is not to evacuate Cambodian officials and students from China, and not to suspend flights from China to Cambodia."

Xu Liping, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Hun Sun's visit at this critical juncture showed that he is a great statesman with courage and goodness. 

"This visit is a significant vote of confidence to China during the fight against the virus, and the friendship and support from Cambodia that this visit showed deserves China's gratitude and should be treasured by the Chinese people," he noted.

A Cambodian diplomat who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Wednesday that Cambodia and China "enjoy blessings and endure misfortunes together."

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times Wednesday that as a responsible major power in the world, China has shown its selfless support to many countries suffering from disasters and crises, "so this is why when China encounters a crisis, most countries around the world, whether developed or developing, show their support."

Not only Cambodia but also many other countries around the globe have shown their supports and understanding to China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday expressed appreciation to voluntary support and donations as well as sympathy and understanding from around the world during China's tough fight against the 2019-nCov epidemic, and Chinese analysts said this proves the friendships that China has built with the world is reliable, sincere and treasured.

Hua said at the online press conference that during the fight against the novel coronavirus, China has mostly used its own resources and forces to deal with the challenge. 

"We express gratitude to all sincere and friendly understanding, support and help from the international community," she said.

Hua said by Wednesday noon, the governments of 21 countries, including those of South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Hungary, Belarus, Turkey, Iran, the UAE, Algeria, Egypt, Australia, New Zeland, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the UN International Children's Emergency Fund have donated materials for the epidemic prevention and control.

Other countries also expressed their willingness to donate materials, and many foreigners from various circles in the international community have provided support to China in different ways, she noted. 

True friendship 

Pakistani Ambassador to China Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi told the Global Times on Wednesday that "Pakistan is fully confident that China has the conviction, capacity and wherewithal to surmount this challenge with characteristic dignity and firm resolve."

"In the face of this challenge, we believe the leadership, government and people of China have taken swift, decisive and effective measures to contain the outbreak and ensure the health and well-being of its citizens," Hashmi said.

Russia plans to send humanitarian aid to China in the next few days, Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov said on Tuesday at a press conference in Beijing, TASS reported.

"It includes protective clothing for [medical] personnel like masks, glasses and protective suits. This is what's needed most," the diplomat said.

"We are currently discussing nomenclature matters with our Chinese colleagues. Over the next few days, the aid will be delivered, likely directly to the city of Wuhan," the ambassador stressed.

Hua said on Wednesday that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was the first foreign minister to publicly support China. Iran has provided 3 million medical masks to China and pledged to continuously provide assistance to China. 

"Iranians do not forget China's generous help and support specifically during last year's huge flood in Iran," Iranian Ambassador to China Ambassador Mohammad Keshavarzzadeh told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"This year Chinese friends have experienced a different Spring Festival due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, the country has suffered from deaths. But at the same time, as is expected, they have shown their strong and historic ability to overcome any difficulty by keeping their unity and sense of stewardship," Keshavarzzadeh said. 

He praised the Chinese government's efforts and its coordination with WHO to take "concrete and effective measures" to contain the spread of the coronavirus inside China and prevent it from spreading abroad.

"Iran will continue standing with the Chinese people and government in this hard time and will offer it [our] broadest support," he said. 

People work at the construction site of an infectious disease hospital of Zhengzhou First People's Hospital in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, Feb. 4, 2020. The infectious disease hospital is close to be delivered after days of construction work for admitting patients infected with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Photo: Xinhua

US performance

Compared to other countries, the US performance and policies it issued after China encountered the coronavirus crisis are a bit different, as it has imposed a strict ban on the people who travel to the US from China, which the WHO discouraged member states from doing. Some senior US officials also made irresponsible and hostile comments about China's political system after the outbreak.

Li from China Foreign Affairs University said the US always thinks "it is the special one in the family" and holds a selfish attitude toward others when some countries are facing problems, and it can't share the feeling that China can share with others.

While the US bans travel from China, Hashmi said Pakistan agrees with the view that there is no reason at present to restrict normal people-to-people ties with China.

She stressed that while there is the unquestioned sovereign right to regulate access, extreme measures can only spur panic and create lasting doubts, which is unhelpful at the very least. 

Keshavarzzadeh told the Global Times that the US is trying to "politicize this human crisis in order to secure its unlawful interests."

"The US administration's practice especially in recent years proves it doesn't respect the basic international norms and principles like on JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]," the Iranian ambassador said.

"In the aftermath of the novel coronavirus outbreak, [the US' response] is not surprising, but [it is] contrary to the general feelings of people worldwide. Their hypocritical human rights allegations further [aggravated] the already existing mistrust of the world people," Keshavarzzadeh noted. 

US President Donald Trump said the US and China are coordinating on the response to the outbreak, though he also offered a trade-related barb as well, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Trump said during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night local time that "We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the coronavirus outbreak in China. My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat." But he did not elaborate.

Hua said on Wednesday China and the US communicated through diplomatic and health channels, but she said "WHO has already said not to take unnecessary interventions over international travel and trade which could add panic to the international community. We hope the US could make an objective and fair stance, and keep calm and reasonable, and not to overreact."

"Some US companies and institutes also provided assistance to China to fight the virus. And according to the information I just received, a batch of materials from the US side arrived in Wuhan on Tuesday," said Hua.