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Hun Sen discusses infrastructure in China, meets with students

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen is on a state visit to China. Facebook

During the second day of his official state visit to China, Prime Minister Hun Sen met members of the Chinese investment community to follow up on several on-going and potential infrastructure projects in the Kingdom.

According to his Facebook page yesterday, Mr Hun Sen met with representatives of the Chinese Road and Bridge Corporation and the Chinese Engineering and Steel Company, including chairman Xu Siwei, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

Mr Hun Sen then met with Huaneng Group chairman Shu Yinbiao to discuss the company’s Sesan II Hydroelectric Project in Stung Treng province. The company has several potential projects queued in Cambodia, including solar energy, a highway project and oil and gas.

His Facebook page also said Mr Hun Sen attended an event marking the 40th anniversary of the end to China’s isolationist policy at the National Museum in Beijing.

Museum director Chunfa Wang briefed Mr Hun Sen on the photos on display at the exhibition, which showed China’s 40-year journey in opening up to the world and reforming its economic and social policies, including efforts made by President Xi Jinping.

Mr Hun Sen is expected to hold discussions with Mr Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in the upcoming days to discuss relations. He will also sign a number of Memoranda of Understanding and agreements related to trade and investments.

“We will discuss the economy, trade relations and investments,” Mr Hun Sen said before he departed on his trip. “Some MoUs and agreements have already been drafted and are ready to sign with China.”

On Sunday, Mr Hun Sen met with 468 Cambodian students in Beijing to discuss his contributions to the development of the Kingdom.

According to a post on Mr Hun Sen’s Facebook page, he met with the students and said that regardless of recent global developments, especially regarding Cambodia, he will not allow citizens to starve to death.

“I will continue to work hard to strengthen Cambodia’s economy so it can be strong,” the post said, adding that the students were happy to have had the opportunity to meet Mr Hun Sen in person.

The post said students were encouraged to study English and Chinese languages. It said students must respect Chinese laws and stay out of trouble.

Prime Minister Hun Sen meets with students in China on Sunday. Facebook

The post added that Mr Hun Sen will continue to work hard to push for cooperation and compliance in the commerce, investment and tourism sectors.

“In 2017, Cambodia received 1.2 million Chinese tourists and in 2018 we received 1.9 million Chinese tourists,” the post said. “Initially he [Hun Sen] wanted to attract 0.01 percent of the Chinese population to Cambodia, but this year we want 0.05 percent of China’s 1.3 billion population.”

It added that Cambodia must increase its reliance on the Chinese, African and Korean markets.

“China is the biggest investor in Cambodia, especially in the sector of infrastructure, especially roads, bridges, overpasses and hydroelectricity,” the post said.

During his visit to China, Mr Hun Sen provided $300 to each of the 468 students. The post said Mr Hun Sen gave $90,000 to the student association, noting that $50,000 came from the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, $10,000 from various government officials and $30,000 from the Prime Minister himself.

“I wish all students success in their studies,” the post said.

Chem Dina, a student who met with Mr Hun Sen, yesterday said Cambodian students came from 20 cities and provinces all over China to meet the Prime Minister.

“We are happy to meet with Samdech,” Mr Dina said. “I think his encouragement to students is heartwarming.”

He added that the most important part about the meeting was listening to Mr Hun Sen speak about foreign investments.

“As a student who has been studying in China, I am satisfied about how our top leader handles development in Cambodia,” Mr Dina said.

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