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Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong Meets with Cambodian Ambassador to China Khek Caimealy Sysoda

2021/09/17

On September 16, 2021, Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong met with Cambodian Ambassador to China Khek Caimealy Sysoda. The two sides exchanged views on China-Cambodia relations and international and regional issues of common concern.

Liu Jinsong said that China and Cambodia enjoy a long-lasting friendship. In a classical Chinese novel, the Dream of the Red Chamber, a girl from the "Zhenzhen Empire" writes a Chinese poem, "How shall I not yearn for the beautiful spring in South China?" Later, scholars confirmed the "Zhenzhen Empire" refers to Chenla (or Khmer), the name for ancient Cambodia. I knew about the former King Norodom Sihanouk when I was little. I can still remember the TV news showing bustling streets lined up by the Chinese people welcoming the visit of the former King. As the Cambodian sayings go, "we will surely reach out a helping hand to our true friend", and "once we become friends, our friendship will last forever". China is a sincere and lifetime friend to Cambodia and other neighboring countries in Asia. China has always treated those countries as equals with mutual assistance, and attached great importance to friendship and trust.

Liu Jinsong said that last year, President Xi Jinping met with King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Monineath and awarded her the "Friendship Medal". It shows that President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to the Cambodian royal family, and more to the point, shows the strategic and unique significance of China-Cambodia relations. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi just wrapped up his visit to Cambodia. During the visit, he emphasizes that China and Cambodia are good friends with a high level of mutual trust and a community with a shared future through thick and thin. China will continue to firmly support Cambodia in safeguarding state sovereignty and national dignity, fighting against the pandemic, developing its economy, and playing a more active and vital role in international and regional arenas. China is willing to work with Cambodia to implement the important consensus reached between leaders of the two countries, continue to work closely on the fight against COVID-19 and development cooperation, speed up high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and promote key cooperation projects. China will fully support Cambodia in assuming the ASEAN chairmanship next year and work with Cambodia to push for greater progress in China-ASEAN relations.

Khek Caimealy Sysoda said that Zhou Daguan, a Chinese envoy of the Yuan Dynasty, stayed a long time in Cambodia and wrote a book, The Customs of Cambodia, an important document for the studies of Cambodian history. Sihanohkville was an essential port of the ancient Maritime Silk Road. Cambodia-China friendship built and carefully nurtured by the former King Norodom Sihanouk and the older generation of Chinese leaders is a valuable asset to the two peoples. She thanks China for the hospitality and considerate arrangements for King Norodom Sihamoni's and Queen Mother Monineath's check-up and recuperation in China. During State Councilor Wang Yi's successful visit to Cambodia recently, multiple cooperation documents were signed, representing a new progress in building the Cambodia-China community with a shared future. As an iron-clad friend of China, Cambodia will continue to provide staunch support on the issues concerning China's core interests. Cambodia will hold ASEAN's rotating chairmanship next year and is willing to work with China to lift ASEAN-China relations to a new level.

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