PHNOM PENH, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping published a signed article in the leading Cambodian newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea under the title "China and Cambodia: Good Neighbors and Trusted Friends" here on Wednesday, ahead of his state visit to the Southeast Asian country.
The English translated version of the article is as follows.
China and Cambodia: Good Neighbors and Trusted Friends
By H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China
At the invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni, I will pay a state visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia. This will be my first visit to Cambodia as the President of China, a visit I look forward to with great anticipation.
Cambodia, an important link on the ancient Maritime Silk Road, is renowned for its rich history and the unique Khmer culture. Angkor Wat, with its magnificent architecture and stunning bas-reliefs, stands as a true tribute to the talent of the Cambodian people and shines in the annals of human civilization. Entering the 21st century, Cambodia has made much progress in its development and delivered a better life to its people. It is heading towards a promising future.
China and Cambodia are geographically and culturally close to each other, and our friendly exchanges trace back more than a millennium. Through the ancient Maritime Silk Road, Chinese porcelain and lacquer wares were brought to Cambodia, and Cambodian spices and yellow wax stones were sent to China. The bas-reliefs of the Bayon Temple vividly depict the scenes of Chinese merchants trading with the locals in Cambodia. During China's Southern and Northern Dynasties in the fifth and sixth centuries AD, Sanghapala, Mandrasena and Subhuti, three eminent Cambodian monks, came to China to disseminate Buddhism. In China's Yuan Dynasty, Zhou Daguan, a Chinese envoy, visited Cambodia. He later wrote The Customs of Cambodia, providing a vivid account of the local customs in Angkor and the friendly interactions between Chinese and Cambodians. Zheng He, the famous navigator from China's Ming Dynasty, made many stopovers in Cambodia on his voyages. He described Cambodia as a land with a warm climate and fertile fields where the locals boiled seawater to make salt and had colorful customs. The Sam Po Kong Temple in the suburb of Kampong Cham that honors Zheng He still has many visitors today, a testament to the time-honored friendship between Chinese and Cambodians.8
A Cambodian proverb likens trust to the growth of a tree. The traditional China-Cambodia friendship, tested by the times and a changing international landscape, has grown strong like a luxuriant tree thanks to efforts made by past leaders of both countries. In 1958, China and Cambodia established diplomatic ties, opening a new chapter in their bilateral relations. Over the past 58 years, successive leaders of both countries have maintained close interactions and developed a close bond of friendship. King Father Norodom Sihanouk once fondly said that the China-Cambodia friendship is like a flower that never withers and will always blossom under the bright sky.
Entering the new era, the China-Cambodia friendship has continued to flourish, beaming with new vitality. Our two countries enjoy deep political trust and win-win economic cooperation. We have carried out fruitful cooperation in various areas, and maintained close consultation and coordination on international and regional affairs, setting an example of how two countries should treat each other as equals and cooperate with absolute sincerity.
In 2010, China and Cambodia established a comprehensive strategic partnership, ushering their ties into a new era. We share a similar development philosophy, and we agree to find ways for China's "Belt and Road" initiative and Cambodia's "Rectangular Strategy" to work together. Two-way trade and investment have maintained strong growth in recent years. China has been Cambodia's biggest trading partner and source of investment for three years. The year 2015 saw our two-way trade topping 4.4 billion U.S. dollars.
China and Cambodia are devoted friends. On issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, our two countries have stood together and supported each other. China firmly supports and has assisted Cambodia in its fight for independence and liberation, as well as maintaining peace and stability. In the 1990s, a Chinese engineering corps of over 800 men took part in peacekeeping missions in Cambodia. In just 18 months, they built and repaired the Phnom Penh International Airport and two other airports, four national-level highways over 640 km in length and over 40 bridges. With blood and sweat, the Chinese peacekeepers helped nurture the China-Cambodia friendship. (more)