Links within the framework of the China Silk Road cooperative are essential to the community of destiny

Cambodia welcomes and supports the rise of China and sees it not only as a miracle of development greater than the rising tide that lifts all boats, but also as a global phenomenon that brings hope and values ​​to member countries of the Chinese Silk Road.

The two countries have witnessed growing interdependence and interconnectedness in economic and trade sectors, especially through the cooperation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In addition, Cambodia and China will benefit from the promotion of relations at all levels, especially people-to-people relations, in the implementation of comprehensive and strategic cooperation programs.

The two countries have considered joint development plans as the two economies are increasingly interdependent. Cambodia also supports the Chinese BRI as investments flowing through the BRI have benefited the country in many ways, including physical infrastructure development and regional connectivity in the Mekong region. The influx of these investments comes largely from Chinese state-owned enterprises and the private sector to support the country’s local development needs.

In recent years, not only are state-to-state and party-to-party ties strong, but people-to-people ties have formed a cornerstone that brings the two nations even closer together.

China has been an important player in the development of Cambodia. China joined the UN peacemaking process in the early 1990s, contributing to the success of the peacebuilding process in Cambodia.

It should be noted that the historical relations between the two countries date back at least a thousand years, as evidenced by ancient Cambodian inscriptions and Chinese chronicles. These relationships have grown even stronger over the past 25 years. The two countries have tried to work together to advance the development of the China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, both bilaterally and regionally, such as through the Mekong-Lancang cooperation.

For whom was the vision exalted and why is it so important?

Bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached over $7.4 billion in 2018, with China recording a trade surplus of over $6 billion. Since the beginning of 2022, the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) has entered into force, while the two countries expect to boost bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2023. China is Cambodia’s largest bilateral FTA partner ahead of other bilateral FTAs, including the Cambodia-Korea agreement. FTA and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).

China has made steady progress in removing technical and non-technical trade barriers with the Kingdom. Since 2000, bilateral trade has grown steadily, rising from just $500 million in 2005 to over $8 billion in 2020. In 2020, Cambodia’s exports to China reached over $1 billion.

The two countries have planned to jointly build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and forge a program of cooperation and partnership for development, with bilateral relations hitting an all-time high these days. last time.

In April 2019, the two countries signed the 2019-2023 Action Plan on Building the Cambodia-China Community of a Shared Future. Since the signing of the action plan, despite some progress, a lot of potential remains to be exploited. Peace, security, stability and a growing middle class in Cambodia have provided domestic and foreign investors, professional expatriates and tourists with the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of peace, freedom and the rule of law.

China has also been a major supplier of Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies to the Kingdom in the concerted fight against the pandemic.

For this, the Chinese government and people should share pride with the Cambodian government and people for the success achieved so far in containing and preventing the pandemic, in line with Chinese Route diplomacy. silk for health. For Cambodia, Chinese vaccines are strategic, while other vaccines are used as a booster. I want to emphasize here that China has gained more respect and international recognition not only in Cambodia but around the world.

The Covid-19 pandemic has derailed the development plans and efforts of many governments, including those of Cambodia and China. Despite the challenges, Cambodia is keen to promote a rapid and resilient recovery through the modernization of the agricultural, service and manufacturing sectors and the diversification of the Cambodian economy, while accelerating institutional, legal and policy reforms to improve the efficiency, competitiveness and attractiveness as a destination. for responsible investment, clean businesses and free trade.

Cambodia is well on its way to becoming a regional hub for the production, assembly and distribution of goods and services. I believe that the blueprint for building a community with a shared future for Cambodia and China will take shape and become a gateway for Chinese investors as well as visitors.

When crimes such as kidnappings, scams, drug debauchery or murders reported in Cambodia are associated with Chinese residents doing business or on short stays, the news often goes viral, affecting both Cambodia and China.

The alleged ‘blood slave’ involving a 31-year-old Chinese national identified by his surname Li – who appeared to reside in Sihanoukville and was allegedly physically assaulted for repeated blood extractions by a Chinese gang who threatened to have his organs harvested interns to sell on the black market – turned out to be wrong. On February 28, the Cambodian National Police issued a press release debunking the allegation. Unfortunately, the alleged crime was concocted by the alleged “victim” and a few of his followers to gain sympathy and solicit financial contributions, including free medical treatment for his chronic ill health.

In fact, “Blood Slave” has never been the case in Cambodia. My salutations go to the governments of Cambodia and China for their swift action to bring the issue to the fore and settle it in the first place. As a legislator, I want to reassure Cambodia that it has practiced the rule of law as the nation gradually evolves into a mature democracy and an active player in the global economy.

Furthermore, Cambodia abides by the Constitution which protects and upholds human rights and adheres to universal values, rules-based multilateralism and international order and standards. In this regard, Cambodia fully protects the welfare and rights of all people in Cambodia, including their other legal rights as enshrined in Cambodian laws.

Yara Suos is a member of the Cambodian National Assembly

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