The newly-appointed Chinese ambassador to Cambodia yesterday met with National Assembly president Heng Samrin and said China was committed to respecting the Kingdom’s sovereignty and independence.
Ambassador Wang Wentian, who replaced Xiong Bo after his term ended, said after the meet that China will always respect Cambodia’s sovereignty and independence, according to Keo Piseth, Mr Samrin’s cabinet chief.
Mr Piseth said China will continue to maintain cooperation as Cambodia’s comprehensive strategic partner and support economic development, while respecting the Kingdom’s sovereignty.
“[Mr Wang] said China will always support Cambodia’s political situation and support Cambodia’s independence and territorial integrity,” Mr Piseth said, adding that Mr Wang said Cambodia is a good neighbour and a friend to China.
He noted that Mr Wang also congratulated the Cambodian People’s Party for winning all 125 National Assembly seats in the recent national election.
“China has helped Cambodia to play an important role on the international stage,” Mr Piseth said.
He said that the National Assembly welcomes the new ambassador.
“The new ambassador will be a bridge to strengthen and improve relations,” Mr Piseth said, noting that the National Assembly will also cooperate with China’s parliament.
“We will continue to support each other on the international stage and give encouragement to continue cooperation between parties and governments,” he said.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay yesterday said:”First, the increasingly strong presence of Chinese nationals in strategic areas in the country, such as the coastal areas from Kampong Som to Koh Kong [provinces] – it all began with Sihanoukville’s seaport,” Mr Mong Hay said. “Second, Chinese dominance in key economic sectors such as hydropower, garment industry, construction industry, extractive industry and off shore oil. And third, how Chinese [investors] have traditional influence on Cambodia’s ruling elite.”