PHNOM PENH, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — Cambodian and Chinese top diplomats on Wednesday pledged to maintain and further heighten bilateral ties and cooperation for the mutual benefits of the two countries and peoples.
The pledge came after a bilateral talk between Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Speaking in joint press briefing after the talk, Wang said the ties between the two countries, cherished and nurtured by Cambodia ‘s late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and the then Eminent Leaders of China in 1958, have been profoundly strengthened and developed day by day.
He said China and Cambodia are good friends, good neighbors and good partners.
“China will continue to further strengthen friendship relations and cooperation with Cambodia for the mutual benefits of the two countries and peoples,” he said. “China will continue to support Cambodia in social and economic development and prevent any disturbance from outside.”
Wang also expressed his congratulations to Hor Namhong on the victory of the Cambodian People’s Party of incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen in the general election last month and hoped that Cambodian political parties would solve remaining problems related to the poll peacefully.
Hor Namhong said Wang’s visit to Cambodia also coincided with the celebration this year 2013 of the 55th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Cambodia and China and the Cambodia-China Year of Friendship.
Hor Namhong said that at Wang’s invitations, he would attend the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers meeting on Aug. 28-30 in China in order to strengthen and expand the strategic partnership of cooperation between ASEAN and China.
In addition, he would attend the first meeting of China- Cambodia inter-governmental coordination committee, which would be held in November in China in order to jointly implement the Action Plan on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation.
Wang arrived in Cambodian capital at Tuesday night for a two- day official visit to further enhance the bilateral ties and cooperation. Earlier in the day, he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Hun Sen and met with Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey, president of the royalist Funcinpec Party.
Cambodia and China have witnessed rapid development of the bilateral relations in the last decade. The ties reached the top level of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation in December, 2010.
China is the top investor in Cambodia. According to the figures of the Council for Development of Cambodia, from 1994 to 2012, total Chinese investment in Cambodia has reached 9.17 billion U.S. dollars.
On the bilateral trade, China is also one of the leading trading partners of Cambodia. Last year, the bilateral trade volume accounted for 2.9 billion U.S. dollars and it is expected to reach 5 billion U.S. dollars by 2017.
In terms of tourism, Cambodia received 334,000 Chinese visitors in 2012, up 35 percent year-on-year, and during the first six months of this year, some 231,000 Chinese had visited Cambodia, up 55 percent compared with the same period last year.