Hun Sen and Chinese President Meet in Beijing

On the second day of Hun Sen’s official trip to Beijing, the Cambodian PM met with Chinese president Xi Jinping to further strengthen ties between the two nations
Prime Minister Hun Sen and his son Hun Manet meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping during visit in China. Kiripost via PM Facebook page
Prime Minister Hun Sen and his son Hun Manet meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping during visit in China. Kiripost via PM Facebook page

Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Chinese president Xi Jinping as the first world leader to visit China after the Lunar New Year celebrations on the second day of his official visit to the nation.

On February 10, the two leaders met at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, During the meeting, Xi Jinping thanked Hun Sen for visiting China on February 5, 2020, at the start of the pandemic, with plans to meet students in Wuhan and show his solidarity with China.

The two leaders also discussed bilateral, multilateral cooperation and international issues. Xi Jinping went on to praise Cambodia for successfully hosting the ASEAN Summit.

During the 100-minute meeting, the two leaders praised the strong bilateral relations between the two countries, which have gone from “comprehensive cooperation to iron friendship and cooperation to a common destiny”, according to an official statement.

Hun Sen and Xi Jinping pledged to continue to strengthen building a single community, focusing on six areas: politics and diplomacy; manufacturing and textile capabilities; agriculture; energy; security; and relations between the two countries, including promoting Cambodia’s health sector.

Xi Jinping also backed Cambodia's policy position on the Kingdom's independence and territorial integrity. According to the statement, Hun Sen said Chinese support contributes to Cambodia’s progress and helps strengthen the Kingdom's independence on the international stage.

Both welcomed the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, and has helped boost China's access to Cambodia's agricultural and fishery markets. The President expressed interest in the development of agriculture and hydrological culture around the Tonle Sap Lake.

Hun Sen went on to welcome China’s initiative to establish the National Fish and Angkor Corridor in Northwestern Cambodia. He added that Cambodia already has three economic poles: Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and the Northeast Zone. He said plans are in place to establish the fourth economic pole in the Northwest Zone.

During the meeting, Xi Jinping and Hun Sen agreed to work together to elevate electricity generation, with a focus on green energy. Hun Sen also seized the opportunity to appeal to the President to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia after restrictions were eased.

During the discussions, Hun Sen personally thanked China for providing Covid vaccines, which helped the nation to reopen and the economy to start recovering. “Without the vaccines provided by the Chinese side, the Cambodian people do not know their fate,” the statement said.

The Chinese President went on to thank Hun Sen for “publicly declaring that if I do not rely on China, who should I rely on?”

In addition, Xi Jinping said he has donated a 300 million yuan ($44,087,820) grant to the Cambodian Railway Project, while the two leaders pledged to boost diamond cooperation.