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China stresses shared journey at King Father’s 100th birthday

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Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk on September 28. Heng Chivoan

China stresses shared journey at King Father’s 100th birthday

Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian said the building of a community of common destiny between China and the Kingdom would rise to new heights and relations between the two countries would develop even further.

Wang made mention of a “continued journey forward”, the “brave continuation of progress in this direction” and the “building of a community of common destiny between China and Cambodia”, in a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

The event was held at the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh on September 28.

“These few years, under the strategic guidance and leadership of the two countries, our relations have rapidly developed and entered a new era of building a community of common destiny,” he said.

He added that Prime Minister Hun Sen had inherited the political relationship and bonds of friendship with China from the late King Father and then continued to promote and deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries and further benefit their two peoples.

He recalled that during the outbreak of Covid-19, the bonds of “ironclad” friendship between the two nations were proven to be “unbreakable”.

“When we were in the most difficult situation trying to contain Covid-19, King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother [Norodom Monineath Sihanouk] visited China, and the Cambodian people donated funds and materials. This signified the core meaning of “community of common destiny”, in which we share in each other’s joys and pains,” he emphasised.

Wang added that after Covid-19 started to spread in Cambodia, China had fully supported Cambodia in all ways possible to help the Kingdom respond to the disease – especially through the donation of Covid-19 vaccines. He said China has provided nearly 42 million vaccine doses to help Cambodia build a strong fortress against the disease as well as with its socio-economic recovery.

He noted that 2023 marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and China was already thinking of ways of celebrating this event with enthusiasm.

“Under the strategic instruction of the leaders of the two countries – as well as through the joint efforts of the two nations – the building of the community of common destiny will continue to the next level and bilateral relations will flourish,” he said.

The Chinese ambassador said that after the passing of the King Father, the traditional relationship between China and the Cambodian royal family remained unchanged, which was a testament to the diplomacy already undertaken with the exchange of visits by King Sihamoni and Chinese President Xi Jinping, among other official and unofficial visits by the King to China over the years.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post that political, economic and socio-cultural relations as well as people-to-people contacts and trade between the two countries are all at an all-time high.

He said the political harmony of the two countries’ top leaders could not apparently be better and the two nations’ positions on regional and global affairs appeared to be very similar in almost every respect.

“We see that [China’s] geopolitical rivals try to exert external influence and harden Cambodia’s stance towards China, but this seems to just make the relationship between Cambodia and China even stronger.

“The context of Covid-19 was also a good test of the strength of the Sino-Cambodian relationship and it showed that there was a lot of support and mutual assistance in the fight against Covid-19, especially by China’s provision of vaccines as well as medical equipment, medicines and economic recovery assistance,” he said.

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