Prime Minister Hun Manet will pay a courtesy call on Chinese President Xi Jinping during his three-day visit to China from September 14-16 to “further consolidate” the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation between the two nations.
A September 12 statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation explained that, in addition, Manet will meet with Zhao Leji, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China.
“The discussions will encompass exchanges on several topics, including the building of a Cambodia-China Community with a Shared Future in the new era, further advancements in Diamond Cooperation, the strategic directions of Cambodia-China relations, and regional and international matters of common interest,” said the statement.
It added that Manet will also hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang to discuss bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
“The two prime ministers will preside over the signing ceremony of several cooperation documents,” it continued.
The two nations are celebrating their 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.
The ministry said Manet’s visit to China is poised to further consolidate the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation.
“It will enhance the Diamond Cooperation Framework and promote collaboration across various regional and international platforms, delivering mutual benefits to both countries and peoples,” it added.
While in China, Manet will attend the 20th ASEAN-China Expo, scheduled for September 16-17 in Nanning, the capital city of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The visit will be Manet’s second official overseas trip since taking office in August.
On September 11, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning explained how the visit demonstrates the great importance that the new Cambodian government places on Sino-Cambodian relations.
“Through this visit, China hopes to chart the course for the next stage of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries,” she said.
“In particular, we hope to deliver on several cooperation initiatives, including the ‘industrial development corridor’ and the ‘fish and rice corridor’ as soon as possible. We look forward to jointly ushering in a new era and building a high-quality, high-level and high-standard China-Cambodia Community of Common Destiny,” she added.
Seun Sam, a policy researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, believes the visit will create a wealth of possibilities for the Kingdom’s future growth. The visit underlined the close bilateral connections and potential for greater sectoral cooperation between the two countries.
“The potential for economic development and investment in Cambodia is one of the main lessons that will be learned from the trip,” he said.
“China has demonstrated a strong interest in funding infrastructure projects such as ports, roads and bridges, which has significantly improved Cambodia’s trade and connectivity. These investments have the potential to accelerate the Kingdom’s economic growth and provide job opportunities for its citizens,” he added.
According to Sam, the possibility of increasing tourism between China and Cambodia is another key goal of the visit. The Kingdom, he added, stands to gain significantly from an influx of Chinese tourists, improving the tourism industry and creating income, by presenting itself as an attractive destination as China is one of the major outbound tourist markets in the world.
“I believe the government should work hard to attract Chinese tourists and counter the negative rumours that circulate among some Chinese tourists. The Kingdom should identify any issues that may exist and work hard to overcome them,” he added.