Cambodia-China ties an ironclad role model
This year, 2023, has been designated the Year of Cambodia-China Friendship to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Cambodia and China. In these years, the two countries have forged and nurtured an unbreakable, "ironclad" friendship that has weathered many storms and overcome many difficulties.
The friendship between Cambodia and China is rooted in the five principles of peaceful coexistence: mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence. The two countries are jointly addressing common and global challenges, strengthening contacts at all levels and across all platforms, and deepening mutual understanding to ensure they continue great achievements at national, regional and global levels.
In a daily briefing ahead of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's first visit to China since 2020, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson emphasized that "Cambodia and China have traditionally been close neighbors and ironclad friends while friendship forged by the older generation of the leaders of the two countries has stood the test of time and grown from strength to strength".
At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is paying an official visit to China from Feb 9 to 11. He had last visited China in February 2020 when the pandemic situation in both Cambodia and China was still grave, demonstrating Cambodia’s strong support for China. Hun Sen becomes the first foreign leader to be hosted by China after the 2023 Lunar New Year.
Both sides are highly optimistic that the visit will boost cooperation between the two countries and deepen development in all fields. The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation highlighted that Hun Sen’s visit would offer an opportunity for both governments to further advance the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation, the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement and bolster the building of a Cambodia-China community of shared future for the mutual benefit of the two nations and their peoples.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning, too, spoke highly of the Cambodian leader’s visit, noting that it would push for even greater progress in the building of the China-Cambodia community with a shared future and carry forward the China-Cambodia friendship from generation to generation.
In both deeds and words, Cambodia and China have stood together through thick and thin and attach great importance to upholding genuine multilateralism, democratization of international relations, and development of global governance toward greater justice and equity. They also firmly uphold the basic norms of international relations, safeguard international fairness and justice, and oppose all forms of hegemony, power politics, unilateralism and exclusivity, Cold War mentality, interference in other countries’ internal affairs and double standards.
Cambodia has always maintained its unwavering adherence to the one-China policy and opposition to any action or remark undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, any form of separatist activities seeking "Taiwan independence", and any form of external interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Cambodia supports every Chinese effort to safeguard core interests and achieve national reunification.
Cambodia supports and actively participates in China's Global Development Initiative, in line with its commitment to the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It supports China's Global Security Initiative proposal and stands ready to work with China on global security governance toward common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.
The comprehensive strategic partnership between Cambodia and China should not stop Cambodia from having good relations with other countries or powers, nor does it put the Kingdom at risk. The healthy relations between the two countries have always been based on the principle of equal rights and equal footing, respecting one another’s interests and adhering to the principle of non-interference.
Cambodia-China's special and unbreakable ties are a "unique role model" of interstate relations that can be replicated both regionally and globally. In this Year of Cambodia-China Friendship, the strong commitment and great efforts made by the leaders and peoples of the two countries underpin the mutual knowledge that the building of the Cambodia-China community with a shared future is a reality.
The author is the director-general of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia, Royal Academy of Cambodia.
The views don’t necessarily reflect those of China Daily.