China calls for stronger ties with Cambodia after COVID-19 pandemic: FM

April 29, 2020

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called for higher level of China-Cambodia relations after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wang made the remarks during his phone call on Monday with Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.

Since the outbreak, said Wang, China and Cambodia have helped each other in the spirit of brotherhood and weathered the crisis through thick and thin, and the Cambodian side has offered China the staunchest support in the most difficult period of China's fight against the disease.

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, along with his mother, former Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, have extended their sympathy to Chinese President Xi Jinping and provided help with cash assistance, and Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen visited China amid the epidemic to show support, Wang noted.

Wang said China, in turn, has sent to Cambodia its first official team of medical experts to the neighboring countries and the first military team of experts to overseas, in a bid to provide epidemic containment supplies and share diagnostic and treatment experience.

China is delighted to see the outbreak in Cambodia has been basically controlled, he said, voicing confidence that the Cambodian people, under the leadership of Hun Sen, will surely win a victory against the disease.

The Chinese side has all along been sharing information related to epidemic prevention and control and conducted active international cooperation in an open and transparent manner, which has been fully recognized by most countries, including Cambodia, said Wang.

The more successful China's anti-epidemic fight is, the stronger the China-smearing campaign by some can be expected, he said, adding that the better China's cooperation with other countries is, the more vigorous the urges by some to find fault can be. That phenomenon has fully exposed their prejudice and injustice towards China, he noted.

The Chinese side commends Cambodia for its opposition to politicizing and stigmatizing the epidemic, as well as for its firm support for the World Health Organization (WHO) to play its due role in battling the outbreak, said Wang, expressing his belief that the Cambodian side will continue to adopt an objective stance and maintain justice.

Wang said the China-Cambodia friendship has withstood the trials of time and ever-changing international situation and got further strengthened amid the pandemic. The two sides have always backed each other on issues concerning their core interests, which safeguards not only their own benefits, but also international justice.

Cambodia has upheld justice in defiance of power politics, a testament to its strength of character as an independent sovereignty, Wang added.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership and the first anniversary of the action plan for building a community with a shared future between China and Cambodia. The two countries need to do a good job in implementing the consensuses reached by the two leaders, combating the pandemic and conducting practical cooperation between the two sides, so as to lift the bilateral ties to a higher level after the test of COVID-19, Wang stressed.

For his part, Sokhonn congratulated China on the critical outcomes of its anti-epidemic fight and thanked China for sending medical experts and providing medical supplies to his country.

It is admirable that China has made great sacrifice and manifested the spirit of solidarity in battling the pandemic, he said, adding that China has not only managed to control the virus' spread domestically, but also lend a helping hand worldwide, which shows the true spirit of internationalism.

Cambodia stands ready to work with China to enhance bilateral cooperation in key areas and programs, so as to lift the bilateral partnership to a new height, Sokhonn stressed.

COVID-19 is a common threat to all humanity. To defeat the virus, it is imperative for the international community to unite as one, instead of splitting apart. Cambodia opposes exploiting the pandemic to stigmatize China and firmly supports the WHO's leading role in the global anti-pandemic battle, he noted.