Chinese President Xi Jinping’s second visit to Cambodia has left no doubt about the kingdoms warm relationship with regional superpower China. In fact, Cambodia is set to be integrated into China’s ‘one belt, one road’ (Obor) initiative through a quadrangle strategy, highlighting the close China-Cambodia relations.
In this report released ahead of the most recent State visit to Cambodia by Chinese President Xi, CCTV News says China plays an important role in Cambodia’s foreign direct investment, with total accumulated investments up to June this year of some $12 billion.
Speaking with CCTV News, Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, Xiong Bo, said the close China-Cambodia relations was well demonstrated by this most recent visit being the fourth time that a China head of state had visited the kingdom.
Describing the visit as a “historic milestone in friendly exchanges between China and Cambodia”, Mr Xiong said “it will start a new era for the two countries”.
According to Mr Xiong, Cambodia’s economy is at a crucial point and “ready to take-off”, something he said that China can be part of with its unique advantages in infrastructure construction.
Major Chinese Investment Projects in Cambodia
The CCTV News clip then goes on to highlight some of the major investment projects undertaken in Cambodia by Chinese, including:
- The $360 million Rui Feng Mill, Asia’s biggest sugar mill in Preah Vihear Province with a daily capacity of 20,000 tons of sugar cane .
- The $493 million Russei Chrum Krom River hydropower dam, located in Koh Kong province built by China Huadian Corporation.
- In 2010, Chinese-owned company Union Development Group commenced development of a controversial resort project that includes a includes a 12,216 sq.m (131,492sq.ft) five-star hotel that is expected to be finished by 2028.
- Tian Rui, a subsidiary of China’s Qingdao Tian Rui Group, announced yesterday that it will invest over $2 billion to develop the kingdom’s first special economic zone geared entirely for agro-processing and storage in the Kong Pisey district of Kampong Speu province
During President Xi’s visit the two countries signed soft loan deals worth around $237 million in addition to dozens of agreements including:
- China-Cambodia agreement on student exchange through an extra 500 scholarship plus 100 for youth.
- China-Cambodia agreement on increasing the number of direct flight to attract more tourist.
- China-Cambodia agreement on military assistance worth 100 million yuan ($14.8 million)
- China-Cambodia agreement on reconstructing the Preah Vihear temple.
- Thirty-one business agreements were also signed during the visit.
Mr Xi also pledged that China will encourage investors to build a high-speed train as well as the airport in Siem Reap province.
In the days following President Xi’s visit Cambodia’s Defence Minister Tea Banh announced that he had just signed some “protocols with each other (China) in providing supplies in order to modernise our work and as a contribution to strengthen stronger capacity of our national defence”.
Just prior to Mr Xi’s visit video was posted online by Cambodia National Police News (CNPN) showing Cambodian police and soldiers undergoing crowd control training conducted by the CNP and Vietnamese experts.