King Sihamoni: Cambodia Stands By One-China Policy

  • Torn Chanritheara
  • September 30, 2020 11:11 AM

In a letter addressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping, King Norodom Sihamoni expressed solidarity with China over their controversial policy.

PHNOM PENH--King Norodom Sihamoni sent a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping extending his congratulations on the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He expressed solidarity with China on their controversial One-China policy, saying Cambodia will stand side-by-side with China and adhere to policy.

“The celebration of the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China gives me the pleasant opportunity to convey to Your Excellency, the Communist Party, the State Council, the People's Liberation Army and the great and heroic people of China, on behalf of the Royal Family, the Royal Government and the people of Cambodia, our heartfelt congratulations,” the King said in the letter dated Sept. 24.

On Oct. 1, 1949, China’s leader Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

Cambodia’s Head of State went on to praise the Chinese leader for his efforts in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and speedily restoring life and the economy to normalcy. The King also thanked China for their contribution to the international fight against COVID-19 and Xi’s pledge to make vaccine a public good. He was especially grateful that China has promised prioritize developing countries once the vaccine is developed.

Cambodia and China established diplomatic relations in 1958. Bilateral relations between the two countries has been strengthening since the time of former King Norodom Sihanouk, who enjoyed a close ties with senior Chinese leaders.

Both the King and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk regularly undergo medical check-ups in China, with their latest visit happening in April 2020 despite the threat of the pandemic.

“Her Majesty the Queen Mother and I reiterate our deepest gratitude to Your Excellency for welcoming us to have medical check-up and relaxation in China at any time. We remember fondly our yearly meetings, which were like a gathering of Family Members, with Your Excellency and First Lady Peng Liyuan. We profoundly cherish the special friendship with Your Excellency,” said the King.

In 2006, the two countries agreed to raise their bilateral relations to a comprehensive partnership of cooperation, which was later upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2010.  

China’s value as an economic partner has become vital to Cambodia in recent years, but while analysts have previously warned that Prime Minister Hun Sen is leading the nation into a debt trap, the economic gains brought about by Chinese investors are highly visible—particularly in the coastal city of Sihanoukville.

Cambodia’s pledge of unwavering support to China comes at a time when relations between the international community and both Cambodia and China have soured. With tensions flaring up over trade protectionism, the COVID-19 pandemic and the South China Sea, Cambodia has consistently signaled that it will be a reliable ally and a strategic instrument in China’s ambitions.  

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