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King, Chinese minister talk bilateral friendship

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King Norodom Sihamoni received a visit from China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi on Friday at his royal residence in Beijing. Supplied

King, Chinese minister talk bilateral friendship

King Norodom Sihamoni received a visit from China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi on Friday at his royal residence in Beijing. The two discussed bilateral friendships and the fight against Covid-19, the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh said.

The King is currently in Beijing for his health check.

Wang said the King has preserved good traditional relations like his father, King Norodom Sihanouk, and has significantly contributed to the development of China-Cambodia relations.

He also expressed appreciation for Cambodia in its remarkably successful efforts in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The Chinese embassy said: “Wang believes Cambodia will achieve victory over the virus. Currently, China and Cambodia are facing some risks and challenges in efforts to stop the re-emergence of the disease and prevent it from being imported from abroad.

“Both sides should strengthen unity and discuss experiences in preventing the virus to implement new socio-economic policies,” the embassy said.

Wang said Cambodia had supported China while it was busy fighting the virus. And when Cambodia reported Covid-19 cases, China sent medical experts, the first team of its kind, to Cambodia to help stop the virus.

A Chinese military expert team also donated some preventive materials to Cambodia.

The embassy said the King sent his good wishes to President Xi Jinping and his wife and committed to maintaining and developing the two countries’ relationship to help bring benefits to both.

The King also thanked China for providing aid to Cambodia in the fight against Covid-19.

A Facebook page titled “Royal du Cambodge,” which is believed to be managed by someone close to the King quotes Wang as saying that the Sino-Cambodian friendship was unbreakable.

“Both sides should strengthen their unity and cooperation. They should exchange experiences in the prevention and control of the virus and they should work together to restore their societies and economies with firm preventive measures and virus vigilance” Wang is quoted as saying by the Facebook page.

The King also expressed his condolences to patients who died from the virus by flying the royal flag at half-mast.

Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk also prayed for Chinese people in Cambodia, Royal du Cambodge said.

“I strongly believe that Sino-Cambodian relations will be further strengthened, and the friendships between people will be deeper,” the King said as quoted in Royal du Cambodge.

In a separate matter, Minister of National Defence Tea Banh on Friday held a phone conversation with Chinese Minister of Defence Wei Fenghe to talk about cooperation between the two countries in the Covid-19 fight, said the Chinese embassy.

“China placed a high value on the achievement of Cambodia in preventing the virus, and China will continue to push for higher relationships and cooperation, in particular between the military of the two nations,” the embassy said.

Tea Banh also placed a high value on China in its battle against the virus and its contributions to fighting the virus in other countries, including Cambodia.

The director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia Kin Phea said the two nations have close relations in the fields of politics, economy, society and culture.

Cambodia also showed close relations with China during the Golden Dragon 2020 military exercises which were conducted in March amid Covid-19 concerns, he said.

“The relationship between the two countries reached a peak, which led to suspicion that Cambodia had a secret agreement with China to allow its military to use a naval base,”Phea said.

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