A Chinese Communist Party (CPC) official from Yunnan province has pledged to encourage Chinese tourists to visit Siem Reap, saying the two provinces have similar potential as tourism hubs.

The commitment was made during a May 15 meeting between a delegation from the Siem Reap provincial administration, led by Siem Reap deputy governor Ly Sary, and a Yunnan delegation, led by Liu Hongjian, a member of the Standing Committee of the Yunnan Provincial Party Committee, at Siem Reap Provincial Hall.

During the meeting, Sary explained that the Siem Reap administration has maintained excellent public order and safety for the domestic and international tourists who visit the province’s major cultural attractions, as well as for investors, said a statement by the provincial administration.

“Sary requested that the Yunnan delegation encourage Chinese investors to meet the needs of tourists and also encourage Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia, especially Siem Reap, while advancing cooperation between the two provinces,” it added.

“Liu accepted Sary’s request and agreed to promote tourism and encourage Chinese people to visit Siem Reap,” it continued.

Sary noted that in addition to tourism, Siem Reap has a lot of agricultural land that could meet the needs of investors, and more importantly, the needs of the people of Cambodia.

He described the cooperation between the two provinces as excellent, with Yunnan companies investing in the construction of the international airport in Siem Reap, along with other contributions to the development of the province.

Sary explained that China and Cambodia are “ironclad” friends, and expressed his support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which contributes to the development of emerging countries.

Liu said the two sister provinces have always enjoyed good relations and close cooperation, noting that Siem Reap is a province with great potential for tourism, while Yunnan’s economy currently relies on agriculture, industry, and transportation.

“Yunnan is a good partner with Siem Reap. We have exchanged delegations to study and understand each other in all fields,” he said, according to the statement.

“Both provinces have similar potential in terms of tourism, with Siem Reap rich in ancient temples and natural resort sites, while Yunnan relies on its mountainous areas and waterfalls. Yunnan has a long experience with tourism,” he said, according to the statement. 

Cambodia and China staged the opening ceremony of the “Year of People-to-People Exchanges Cambodia-China 2024” at the Terrace of the Elephants in Siem Reap in January, in the presence of Li Shulei, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the committee’s Publicity Department.

Thong Mengdavid, a lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh’s Institute for International Studies and Public Policy, told The Post on May 16 that people-to-people exchanges and the promotion of tourism between the two countries would mutually benefit both sides.

He noted that as 2024 is the year of exchanges, both nations have been working together to enhance cooperation in culture and education, as well as economics, to ensure strong and sustainable growth. 

“Yunnan province serves as China’s southern economic corridor and is a key regional economic hub which further advances Mekong countries development and growth and supports their post-pandemic economic recovery,” he said.

“Cambodia and China should further implement more exchanges and the promotion of their cultures through visits and cultural performances. They should also aim to increase the number of direct flights between them,” he added.