Cambodian PM says ties with China closer after Beijing visit

Photo from Prime Minister Hun Sen Facebook

PHNOM PENH-- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that the kingdom's relations with China have become closer after his visit to Beijing earlier this week.



"It's very clear that Cambodia is staying closer with China, especially in this difficult moment, because a friend in need is a friend indeed," he wrote on Friday on his official Facebook page.



Hun Sen paid a visit to China on Wednesday. When meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hun Sen said that he had decided to make a special visit to China to showcase Cambodia's support to China in fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic.



He said at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing that when China was in a difficult time, the Cambodian people stood firmly with the Chinese people to overcome common difficulties, adding that the two countries are truly "steadfast friends."



The Cambodian government chief spokesman, Phay Siphan, said Thursday that as some countries have adopted extreme restrictive measures to curb the virus, Hun Sen's Beijing visit told the world there was no need to be "extremely scared and panicked."



"The prime minister's special visit shows Cambodia's strong support to China in fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus," Phay Siphan told Xinhua.



The novel coronavirus outbreak was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.



In Cambodia, the first case was confirmed on Jan. 27. The affected patient is receiving treatment at the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Referral Hospital in the country's southwestern province of Preah Sihanouk.



The Cambodian Health Ministry said in a press release late Thursday that the patient is in good health and has tested negative for the virus twice since. He will be discharged from hospital if the third test result remains negative.


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