Prak Sokhonn to strengthen ties during Beijing trip

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn. KT/Mai Vireak

Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn will depart for China today for three days in order to further bolster the relationship between Cambodia and China.

The trip will follow official visits made to China by King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen in recent weeks.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry said Mr Sokhonn was invited by Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi.

It added that aside from Mr Wang, Mr Sokhonn will meet other high-ranking Chinese officials, such as Premier Li Keqiang.

“His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister will meet His Excellency State Councilor Wang Yi for an in-depth discussion on ways and means to promote collaboration between the foreign ministries of the two countries and other areas of cooperation,” it said. “He will also exchange views with his Chinese counterpart on regional and international issues of common interest and concern.”

During his visit to China earlier this month, King Sihamoni attended the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations, while Mr Hun Sen visited China last month to attend the annual Belt and Road Forum.

After his trip, King Sihamoni said the CDAC plays an important role in cultural exchange and promotion of understanding among countries.

“The Cambodian people will firmly stand with the people of China in all circumstances,” he said in a Facebook message posted by Royal Du Cambodge. “Cambodia wishes to congratulate the People’s Republic of China for 70 years of achievements.”

After his trip at the end of April, the Council of Ministers said Mr Hun Sen inked nine deals with China, specifically deals on the Action Plans of Shared Future and the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation under Grant Aid.

“[Mr Hun Sen] said that the BRI has been well implemented over the last six years and it has brought along fruitful cooperation for the region and the globe,” said a Council of Ministers statement regarding Mr Hun Sen’s trip. “This is in the context of physical infrastructure, trade and investment, as well as in the context of progress in cultural exchange between peoples by the way of trade, tourism and technology.”

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay yesterday said the government is gradually leaning towards China in order to offset pressure from the United States and the European Union over a series of perceived democratic and human rights setbacks in the Kingdom.

“Our leaders need support from China to develop the country, and more importantly, to counter increasing pressure from the EU and the US, which have accused [our leaders] of destroying democracy, human rights and the rule of law, especially after our leaders dissolved the CNRP,” Mr Mong Hay said.

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