Cambodian PM Hun Sen's visit to China set to improve ties, accelerate efforts to achieve development goals in Southeast Asia: experts
Published: Feb 07, 2023 01:54 AM
China Cambodia Photo: VCG

China Cambodia Photo: VCG

Confirming that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will pay an official visit to China, China's Foreign Ministry said that the visit fully demonstrates the high level of China-Cambodia relations. Experts believe that the two countries will play an exemplary role in Southeast Asia and will help to promote the development plans of more members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the Cambodian premier will visit China from Thursday to Saturday, China's Foreign Ministry announced on Monday. 

Speaking highly of the China-Cambodia relationship, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said during Monday's press briefing that Hun Sen is a good friend of the Chinese people as well as the first foreign leader to be hosted by China after the Chinese New Year, which fully demonstrates the high level of China-Cambodia relations.

Mao also said that Chinese leaders would meet and hold talks with Hun Sen during his visit to exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations, regional and international issues of common interest.

"Under the strategic guidance of the two countries' leaders, building the China-Cambodia community with a shared future has yielded fruitful results in recent years, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples and contributing to peace and prosperity in the region and beyond," Mao said.

Hun Sen previously visited China in 2020. Experts noted that after three years of the epidemic, his visit again shows that the friendship between China and Cambodia is very solid and the overall cooperation has entered a very mature stage.

It is expected that the visit will focus on the construction of a Pan Asian Railway Network, the overall connectivity of Southeast Asia, cooperation in the post-pandemic economy, and the fight against transnational crime, Ge Hongliang, director of the China-ASEAN Maritime Security Research Center at Guangxi University for Nationalities, told the Global Times on Monday.

Cambodia's Ministry of the Interior and China's Ministry of Public Security have agreed to continue their cooperation on preventing transnational crimes such as illegal online gambling and drug trafficking since 2021. 

To better maintain stability and security in Southeast Asia, fighting transnational crime will certainly be Prime Minister Hun Sen's focus, Ge said.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia. China looks forward to taking Prime Minister Hun Sen's visit as an opportunity to push for greater progress in building a China-Cambodia community with a shared future and to pass on China-Cambodia friendship from generation to generation, Mao said on Monday.

From the perspective of economic cooperation, this visit is expected to clarify and regulate the investment and operation of Chinese enterprises in Cambodia, and there will be a more perfect system to protect the interests of Chinese enterprises in Cambodia, Ge said.

As tourism recovers, the issue of Cambodian scholars and students returning to China will also be an issue that needs to be discussed, Ge noted.

The cooperation model between China and Cambodia will greatly promote the development of the whole ASEAN region in terms of institutional building, economic and trade exchanges, as well as people-to-people exchanges, and set the direction for China-Cambodia relations in the future, experts said.