Analysts have described Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Cambodia as making a major contribution to the realisation of 2024 as the year of people-to-people exchanges, which will spur an increase in tourism from China to Cambodia.

Wang is paying an official trip to the Kingdom from April 21-23, as part of a diplomatic mission which also includes visits to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

He paid a courtesy call on King Norodom Sihamoni on April 21, before meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sok Chanda Sophea later on the same day.

On April 22, he met with Sun Chanthol, first vice-president of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and Prime Minister Hun Manet. Wang was also scheduled to meet with Senate President Hun Sen.

During his meeting with Chenda Sophea, both sides “highly valued the strong development of bilateral relations in all sectors under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation” as well as the building of a “high-quality, high-level, and high-standard Cambodia-China Community with a Shared Future”, according to a foreign ministry statement.

They described the frequent and active exchanges of visits and engagements between their respective leaders as demonstrating the robust political trust and the enduring ironclad friendship between the two countries.

The ministry said both foreign ministers also discussed the enhancement of the Diamond Cooperation Framework, people-to-people exchanges, and the joint development of the “Industrial and Technological Corridor” and “Fish and Rice Corridor”, in addition to deepened cooperation on infrastructure, energy, economy, and trade.

During the April 22 Seventh Cambodia-China Intergovernmental Coordination Committee Meeting, Wang and Chanthol oversaw the signing of an exchange of letters for phase two of China’s rural clean water project and certification for the handover of the Cambodia agriculture development master plan, as well as the establishment of formal quarantine and hygiene requirements for semi-finished dog food products made from cowhide, for export from Cambodia to China, according to the Ministry of Information.

“They also presided over an official launch ceremony for a compilation of notes about the Chenla Empire, which focuses on the territory, tradition, culture, translated into Khmer, and a ceremony to celebrate the export of Cambodia’s fresh coconuts to China,” the ministry added.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post that Chinese-Cambodian relations are at an unprecedented level, and have never been closer.

“We expect that the visit of Wang Yi as part of the year of people-to-people exchanges will drive the flow of Chinese tourists to Cambodia, while increasing the volume of trade. It will also attract more foreign direct investment from China, and should see more of the projects which are the subject of various MoUs and agreements come to fruition, not just on paper,” he said.

Phea believed that both China and Cambodia benefit from their “comprehensive strategic partnership”, noting that Cambodia needs China’s support for its political, economic and security strategies, as China is the Kingdom’s largest trading partner, and also the largest supplier of aid.

China, on other hand, also benefits from Cambodia, in terms of investments, as well as the Kingdom’s unwavering support for China on regional and global issues, such as the South China Sea, Phea added.