A senior official from the Communist Party of China (CPC) hails the new generation of the Cambodian government led by Prime Minister Hun Manet for its continued friendly diplomacy with China.
Liu Jianchao, head of the CPC’s International Liaison Department, described the excellent relations as affirming the two countries’ commitment to upholding the goal of building a “community of common destiny”.
The remarks came as Liu met with Manet on September 3 at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, according to the Prime Minister’s Office press release.
Manet noted that the visit was a reflection of the close cooperation between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the CPC, as well as the Kingdom and China.
He added that the CPP-led government will continue to support the One-China policy and enhance cooperation between the two countries during his mandate.
Liu reiterated China’s commitment to driving success in carrying out initiatives and cooperation between the two nations in all forms and its support for the seventh-mandate government led by Manet.
He expressed his view that Manet is a young, capable politician with a long-term vision for the development of Cambodia.
Geopolitics pundit Ro Vannak opined on September 4 that Liu’s visit to Cambodia was part of China’s ambitions to be able to embrace hegemony as a regional major power. China wanted to create a sphere of influence in Asia, with China itself as the core.
“It is for the people of Asia to run the affairs of Asia, solve the problems of Asia and uphold the security of Asia. The people of Asia have the capability and wisdom to achieve peace and stability in the region through enhanced cooperation,” he cited Chinese President and CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping as saying in 2014.
He noted that China might have some concerns that the new Cambodian government may turn to the West, as the Kingdom had previously depended heavily on Europe and the US for its exports, especially now that China is undergoing an economic downturn.
“The relationship between the two countries will remain strong, as the ruling party needs China’s backing to withstand political, diplomatic and economic pressure from the West. However, in the days to come, there may be some changes, should China’s influence diminish,” he said.
Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the relationship between Cambodia and China remained an exceptional one, despite the change in government.
“China is embracing the new Cambodian government amid the geopolitical competition of superpowers, especially between China and the US. We shouldn’t be afraid of the embrace of China. Cambodia’s growth aligns with national and international laws, which is important,” he said.
He believes that in the years to come, the relationship will remain close, given the historical and social aspects of Cambodia’s internal politics and several international and geopolitical aspects.