Diplomacy

China Turns to Music as Relations with Cambodia Sweeten

Gu Xiaojun, the wife of the Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, has penned a song to celebrate 64 years of strengthening relations between the two nations.
A person watches a Chinese music video celebrating relations between China and Cambodia. Kiripost/Siv Channa
A person watches a Chinese music video celebrating relations between China and Cambodia. Kiripost/Siv Channa

“I am holding your hands, let's go to tomorrow together,” sings Gu Xiaojun in her latest song that celebrates the 64th year of China-Cambodia relationships.

Xiaojun is the wife of Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia, Wang Wentian, and her song was posted on the embassy’s Facebook page on August 1. Within three days, it had garnered 2,000 views and 130 shares.

“If say you used to be my bitter and sweet, I am willing to live as your wish, please, don’t be useless, please be brave, This is a glorious era every day,” Xiaojun sang as the video shows visits by Chinese leaders, Covid-19 vaccine donations, and infrastructure developments, including the first national expressway and Chinese-funded stadium.

China’s move into music follows the United States, who in 2018 sponsored singers to write positive songs about America.

The song "As Wish" features subtitles in Chinese and Khmer, and praises the historical achievements of the ancestors of China and Cambodia in advancing the two nations’ friendship and bright prospects for the development of bilateral relations.

“You are the river of time, sky that has stars lit with lighting, I am the finder to find you as the song, you are the reason I come, it's the place that belongs in my heart, all the roads in the world will meet you,” she sings.

“Mountains, rivers have no problem, fireworks as normal, but your wish that you look for, children sleep, like the way you love them alot, and I will dream of gathering of your dream, that this will come as you wish forever,” the song continues.

Pa Chanroeun, President of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy (CID), said the music video is an art or music diplomacy; a way to attract the public about the bilateral relationships and infrastructure developments.

“It is an artistic way to attract attention from the general public. They use the song, videos, acting and pictures of important achievements,” Chanroeun said. “This way of showing is more attractive than other forms.”

Chanroeun said that China understands how important this political communication is in Cambodia, which is also used by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Music is an important political tool, either during happy and sad times. Even during Covid times, many songs have been produced,” he said.

He said more or less, this music has attracted attention from the Cambodian people, especially with regard to the Chinese aid of Covid vaccines to the country.