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Cambodia China secure ties

Cambodian China Leaders

In a joint declaration, China and Cambodia promise to uphold their “ironclad friendship” and forge relations of the highest caliber.

On February 10, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China’s capital. Photo:Xinhua

On February 10, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China’s capital. Photo:Xinhua

On Saturday, the final day of Cambodian Prime Minister Hung Sen’s visit to China, China and Cambodia issued a joint statement in which they pledged to continue their most cherished ironclad friendship for future generations and to build a high-quality, high-level, and high-standard China-Cambodia Community with a Shared Future in the new era.

The “Diamond Hexagon” framework for collaboration, which the two sides agreed to create, identifies six priority sectors, including political cooperation, production capacity, agriculture, energy, security, and humanity.

International relations specialists told Global Times on Saturday that this joint statement highlights the future course of China-Cambodia relations and strengthens its political guiding role.

In the joint statement, both parties praised the impenetrable unshakable friendship between China and Cambodia, which has been carefully cultivated over the course of the 65 years since diplomatic relations were established and has only continued to get stronger.

“High-quality, high-level, and high-standard are used to describe the partnership’s goals, reflecting a significant improvement in ties between China and Cambodia and a concrete “Diamond Hexagon” framework for cooperation that will play a significant role in their future cooperation, according to observers.

The joint statement has a guiding function and offers the two nations helpful advice on how to accomplish this goal.” Ge Hongliang, head of the Guangxi University for Nationalities’ China-ASEAN Maritime Security Research Center, spoke to the Global Times on Saturday.

He added that the development of the China-Cambodia community with a shared future points to the directions for future cooperation between those structures. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation between China and Cambodia under the Belt and Road Initiative and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation framework have already reached an advanced stage.

This joint statement systematically explains the plan of building the high-quality, high-level, and high-standard China-Cambodia Community with a Shared future in the new era, citing political cooperation, production capacity, agriculture, energy, security, and humanity as important areas for the development of China-Cambodia relations. Additionally, China’s pandemic prevention strategy optimization was also expressly emphasized, which indicates that a greater resurgence of cross-cultural interactions is anticipated, according to Ge.

He declared, “These proposals are quite pertinent and in line with the development requirements of Southeast Asian countries.” This entails an institutional upgrading of the two sides’ collaboration on all fronts, including commerce, investment, political security, and humanistic interactions.

The joint declaration not only outlined objectives for future growth but also lavished praise on historical China-Cambodia relations, referring to them as an unbreakable unshakable friendship and promising to continue them for future generations.

The two sides reached an agreement to promote cross-service exchanges, joint exercises, and training, as well as to improve coordination between the two sides on matters of multilateral security. They also agreed to increase military engagements between the two nations at all levels.

“The two sides’ friendship and collaboration extend beyond just their interactions on the levels of business and humanities. More significantly, the two nations have always supported and understood one another on a political level.”

According to the joint statement, both parties acknowledged the shared values of democracy, freedom, fairness, and development that all human beings share. They also expressed their readiness to defend the UN-centered international system, the international order based on international law, and the fundamental rules governing international relations. Both sides firmly supported the open, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory, and rules-based multilateral trading system and agreed that true multilateralism must be adhered to.

According to the statement, both parties thought that the South China Sea situation had remained largely stable thanks to the cooperation of China and the ASEAN nations. The two nations urge all parties involved to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), advance maritime cooperation, and swiftly come to an agreement on an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) based on mutual understanding. Any attempt to undermine regional peace and mutual trust using the South China Sea problem will fail, it warned.

The two leaders met on Friday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, fulfilling a “appointment made three years ago” and highlighting the unbreakable friendship between the two nations as they commemorate the 65th anniversary of the start of their diplomatic relations.

Hun Sen’s “opposite way” visit at the start of 2020 delivered a strong signal of support for the Chinese people during a time when some nations organized the evacuation of their ambassadors and residents from China and suspended international flights.

And China has now kept its “three-year promise,” hosting Hun Sen once more after a three-year absence, underscoring the value China places on the bilateral relationship and the sincerity that underpins it.

According to Ge, there is a unique, cross-generational friendship between China and Cambodia. “How to pass on such a magnificent asset has significant value in itself,” the author writes.

The commencement of the “China-Cambodia Friendship Year” activities to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as well as the Friendship Year was also announced, according to the joint statement.

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