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Hun Sen to sign new aid agreements during trip to China

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen meets with his Chinese counterpart Li . xinhua

China and Cambodia are expected to sign a number of agreements, including one on Chinese assistance and project cooperation, during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s attendance at this week’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

Mr Hun Sen will lead a high-level delegation to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Thursday, where he will also meet top Chinese leaders.

According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry statement yesterday, Mr Hun Sen will have separate meetings with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Wang Huning, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, before having a bilateral meeting with Li Yong, Director General of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the representatives of various Chinese companies, the Foreign Affairs Ministry added.

“A number of documents on Chinese assistance and cooperation projects are expected to be signed during this visit,” it said.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Ket Sophann said yesterday that assistance from China and other deals on projects are not yet finalised.

“Not yet finalised, I will inform you in due course,” Mr Sophann said.

According to the statement, Mr Hun Sen’s plan to visit China was made at the invitation of the Chinese President to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and a series of events and meetings from Thursday to Monday.

Mr Hun Sen will be accompanied by deputy prime minister Hor Namhong, Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn, Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, Public Works and Transport Minister Sun Chanthol and Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry added that other senior government officials, such as Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak, Health Minister Mam Bunheng, Tourism Minister Thong Khon, along with members of the Chamber of Commerce of Cambodia, will attend the forum.

“At the high-level meeting for the second Belt and Road Forum on April 26, Samdech Techo Prime Minister will deliver an address on the forum’s theme, which is entitled as ‘Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future’,” it said. “He will also share his perspective on the theme ‘Boosting Connectivity to Explore New Sources of Growth’ at the Leader’s Round Table session on the following day.”

After the forum, Mr Hun Sen and other leaders will attend the opening ceremony of the International Horticultural Exposition 2019, where he will also inaugurate the national pavilion of Cambodia.

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mr Hun Sen plans to address professors and students at Beijing University, where he will receive the title of Honorary Professor of International Relations.

During his last visit to Beijing in January, China promised to increase the import of Cambodian milled rice from 300,000 tons to 400,000 this year. The agreement was made in order to offset tariffs imposed on the Kingdom by the European Union.

China also announced it will provide about $600 million to Cambodia over the next three years to support Cambodia’s economy and its road and energy infrastructures.

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