by Zhang Ruiling, Lei Bosong
PHNOM PENH, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislator Wu Bangguo's official visit to Cambodia is a major diplomatic event and will be sure to promote and deepen the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Cambodia, Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Pan Guangxue told Xinhua in recent interview.
Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, will pay a four-day official goodwill visit to Cambodia beginning from Nov. 3 to 6, at the invitation of Heng Samrin, president of the National Assembly of Cambodia.
Pan said that the aim of the visit is to "enhance mutual trust, consolidate friendship, deepen cooperation" between the two countries.
Hailing the traditional friendship fostered by the leaders of the old generation of the two countries, Pan said China and Cambodia have a long history of friendship. Since the establishment of diplomatic relation in 1958, the two countries had maintained political trust and fruitful cooperation, and supported each other in the international and regional affairs. " The friendship between the two countries is increasingly striking root in the hearts of the people," Pan pointed out.
He called China-Cambodia relations "a good example of sincere cooperation between countries with different social systems". Meanwhile, the ambassador commended Cambodia's consistent position to offer firm support to China on those issues that concern China' s major and core interests.
He stressed that "steadily deepening and developing of the comprehensive cooperation partnership of the two countries has been Chinese government's consistent policy."
During Wu's stay in Cambodia, Pan said, he will hold talks with National Assembly President Heng Samrim, and meet with King Norodom Sihamoni, Senate President Chea Sim and Prime Minister Hun Sen, respectively. They will exchange views on the issues of further developing of the all round cooperation partnership and promoting the level of friendship and cooperation of the two countries, as well as the issues of common concern.
Moreover, Pan said that the two countries will also sign a series of cooperation agreements on economy and trade during Wu's visiting.
Pan said in 2010, the Sino-Cambodia kept closer contacts in various fields, and the cooperative effort is remarkable. At the end of April and in early May, Prime Minister Hun Sen attended the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo and held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao. In early October, King Norodom Sihamoni at the invitation of Chinese side attended the opening ceremony of Chinese Pavilion Day at Shanghai World Expo and has a meeting with top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo. At the end of October, Heng Samrin, president of Cambodia's National Assembly attended the Western China International Fair (WCIF) in Chengdu, Sichuan province. On the topic of economic cooperation, Ambassador Pan said that along with the establishment of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the Sino-Cambodian economics and trade cooperation is facing new and bigger development opportunities. The volume of trade between China and Cambodia in the first half of this year had already reached 627 million U.S. dollars, up 37 percent compared to the same period last year.
He pointed out that after ending nearly 30 years chaos caused by war, Cambodia has entered a peaceful development period which needs a lot of money and technology. While China has accumulated the massive fund, technology and the experience with more than 30 years reform and open policy, so there are huge potentials for the two countries to have the economic complement and mutually beneficial cooperation. China and Cambodia had already signed the SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) agreement recently which will help Cambodia's agricultural product to enter Chinese market.
Pan Guangxue added that Cambodia has the special and advantageous natural resources and the land is fertile. If Cambodia can introduce China's improved crop strains and advanced technology, the output of agricultural product and the quality will be increased and enhanced greatly, moreover, to promote the exports of its rice and fruits to China and other countries and region.
Pan also said that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and other government leaders highly praised China's assistance and the investment to Cambodia. Recent years, China has provided some economic aids to Cambodia, including loan on favorable terms and so on. According to the Cambodian Government's request, these aids and the investments mainly concentrated in infrastructural facilities, such as roads, bridges, hydroelectricity and others. So far, China has already constructed approximately 1,500 km long road for Cambodia. Pan expressed his belief that these infrastructural facilities will be sure to play important role in strengthening and promoting Cambodia's social and economic development in the future.
Pan said that Cambodian government attached great importance to the forthcoming visit by top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo, and has prepared it with great care. "I believe that Wu's visit will be complete success and will be certain to further promote the Sino-Cambodian traditional friendly cooperative ties to a new level."
Cambodia will be the first leg of Wu's three-nation tour, which will also take him to Indonesia and Thailand.