PHNOM PENH, (Xinhua) – As July 19 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia, a Cambodian government spokesman said Thursday that the ties between the two countries have now reached “golden age”.
The two countries established the official diplomatic ties on July 19, 1958. The bilateral ties had been constantly developed and elevated to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation in 2010.
“You know in Cambodia, when the man reaches the age of 60, it’s said that he gets his maturity, so it’s the same with Cambodian-Chinese relationship,” Cambodian Government Spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
“Now it (the relationship) reaches the age of maturity. It means that a golden age of relationship between our countries,” he said.
The minister said the bilateral relationship has become stronger and closer from day to day because the two countries always show “mutual respect” and cooperate with each other based on “mutual interest”.
“This is the very basic condition of a good relationship,” Kanharith said. “China well respects Cambodia. It does not consider Cambodia as a small country.”
China is the largest investor and aid provider to the Southeast Asian country. China is also the largest source of tourists to Cambodia with some 1.2 million Chinese tourists visiting the kingdom last year.
On the trade side, China is one of the leading trading partners of Cambodia, and the two-way trade volume was valued at 5.8 billion U.S. dollars last year and it was expected to exceed 6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
Looking into the future of the bilateral ties, the minister is strongly confident that the relations would be furthered deepened in all-round cooperation thanks to the efforts made by the leaders of the two countries.
“I can say that the relations between Cambodia and China could be a model of the relationship in the modern world,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister said media sector plays a crucial role in helping further promote the relationship, saying that it is a bridge connecting the two countries and the two peoples.
Sharing his view on China’s reform and opening up over the past four decades, Kanharith said China’s rapid development and successful poverty reduction could be a good example and experience for other countries, including Cambodia.