King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia
13 November 2000
President of the People's Republic of China
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The moment we set foot on your beautiful land, we were overwhelmed by your warm friendship, which makes us feel at home. Now at this grand welcoming banquet hosted by Your Majesties the King and the Queen, we feel once again the profound friendly sentiments of the Cambodian people towards the Chinese people. I was deeply moved by the touching remarks Your Majesty just made. On behalf of my wife and my colleagues and also in my own name, I wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Your Majesties the King and the Queen and to the Cambodian Government and people.
Sino-Cambodian friendship has a long history. Since ancient times, our two peoples have had friendly contacts with each other. The establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries opened a new chapter in the annals of our relationship. Our two countries respect each other and cooperate sincerely on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and our good neighbourly friendship has enjoyed continuous consolidation and development. We all agree with Your Majesty that the long-standing and strong friendship between our two countries "is like a beautiful flower that will never fade and that shall always bloom in a magnificent sky without any clouds."
The development of the traditional Sino-Cambodian friendship should be attributed to the care and efforts by Your Majesty the King and Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping and other Chinese leaders of the older generation. The Chinese people will forever keep a fond memory of Your Majesty's many visits to China and your profound friendly sentiments towards the Chinese people. The Chinese Government and people highly appreciate Your Majesty's outstanding contributions to the development of Sino-Cambodian relationship and thank you for what you have done.
The Chinese Government cherishes the Sino-Cambodian friendship and is ready to make unremitting efforts for the development of closer and stable friendly relations with your country. Today our two countries signed the Joint Statement on future bilateral cooperation, which points the direction for the development of bilateral relationship in the new century. I am convinced that through our concerted efforts, our cooperation in various fields will be further strengthened and the flower of our friendship will be even more beautiful.
We are very glad to see that under the wise leadership of Your Majesty, Cambodia has realized and maintained political stability, achieved ethnic reconciliation and made progress in economic rehabilitation while various reforms have been going on smoothly and people's living standard has been further improved. We sincerely congratulate you on your achievements. As a friendly neighbour of Cambodia, China will as always support Your Majesty and the Cambodian people in safeguarding your sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and defending your hard-won peace and stability.
Here, I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere solicitude for the losses caused by the recent severe flooding in your country and my admiration for the determination of your people in rebuilding your homeland. I remain convinced that under the leadership of Your Majesty the King and the Cambodian Government, your people, who once created splendid Angkor Vat Civilization, can surely overcome the temporary difficulties and build a more prosperous Cambodia.
Now I would like to propose a toast
to the health of Your Majesties the King and the Queen,
to the ever-lasting friendship between China and Cambodia,
to the health of Samdech Chea Sim, Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh and Samdech Hun Sen, and
to the health of ladies and gentlemen and friends present.