On March 31, 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh. Both sides exchanged in-depth views on bilateral ties as well as the regional situation and agreed to advance the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation. They also agreed that both peoples will remain good neighbors, good friends, good brothers and good partners. The two leaders pledged to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields and to double the annual two-way trade to 5 billion U.S. dollars by 2017.
Hu said the China-Cambodia friendship has a long history. Bilateral friendship forged and cultivated by the leaders of the two countries has withstood the test of time and vicissitudes in the international arena since the two countries established diplomatic ties more than 50 years ago. The two countries have established the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation with a high degree of mutual trust, sincere cooperation, firm mutual support and common development. China appreciates Prime Minister Hun Sen for always attaching importance to developing relations with China, firmly supporting China on major issues and making important contributions to China-Cambodia relationship.
"As both international and regional situations are undergoing profound and complex changes, continued enrichment and development of the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Cambodia serves the fundamental interests and common aspirations of the two peoples and is also conducive to regional peace, stability and development," he said. China is ready to work with Cambodia to further enhance political mutual trust and strengthen good-neighborly friendship and cooperation, Hu said.
Hu put forward a four-point proposal with a view to further advancing China-Cambodia relations. First, the two countries should maintain close contacts and strengthen strategic communication. The two sides should formulate and implement a program of action for bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation and should step up efforts to expand party-to-party exchanges and cooperation in human resources training. Both sides should also learn from each other on governing the country. Noting that the next year would be the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Cambodia, Hu suggested the year of 2013 be designated as the Year of China-Cambodia Friendship to further expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Second, the two countries should expand pragmatic cooperation to realize a win-win situation, Hu said. The two countries should carry out overall planning for economic and trade cooperation and enhance agricultural cooperation in line with each other's advantages and development strategies. The Chinese side encourages competent enterprises to invest in Cambodia to boost bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, civil aviation and tourism. Third, the two countries should strengthen cooperation on security and law enforcement by jointly combating cross-border crimes such as terrorism and drug trafficking, and should maintain contacts between the armed forces of the two countries. Fourth, China and Cambodia should manage to make multilateral coordination closer, strengthen mutual support, and strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation within the frameworks of the United Nations, East Asia cooperation, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation to safeguard the common interests of the two countries and those of other developing countries, Hu said.
Agreeing with Hu's comments and proposals on bilateral ties, Hun Sen said Cambodia and China share a long-term friendship with mutual trust and their mutually beneficial cooperation has a solid foundation. The Cambodian government and people thank for China's important support and help. As a Chinese saying goes, "Distance tests a horse's strength". The development course of Cambodia-China relations proves that the ties served as an outstanding example of good neighborliness. He said he believed Hu's visit would boost mutual trust and the continued development of the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between Cambodia and China. The prime minister said Cambodia sticks to the one-China policy, and is willing to maintain close contacts with China. Cambodia is also ready to exchange experiences with China on development strategies and expand cooperation with China in trade, agriculture, infrastructure, security and law enforcement.
Hun Sen pledged to make efforts to ensure the Year of China-Cambodia Friendship a success and to encourage youth exchanges. He also expressed the hope for greater coordination and cooperation with China within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations.
The Chinese president said the world today is undergoing great development, great changes and major adjustments and maintenance of the general situation of stability and development in Asia deserves to be cherished. Over the years, Asia has adhered to equal treatment, consensus through consultation and graduality and has developed a set of effective principles and practices suited to the realities of this region. Asian countries have the capacity and responsibility to safeguard peace and stability in the region, develop the economy, improve people's livelihood and promote social harmony and stability, he said. Cooperation among East Asian countries is in a crucial stage of development, Hu said, adding that cooperation in East Asia should take development as a priority. The status of the "10+3" and "10+1" cooperation as the major channel of East Asian cooperation should be maintained. Hu said China supports Cambodia's role in regional affairs in its capacity as the current rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). China is ready to enhance coordination and cooperation with Cambodia to push for sound development of East Asian cooperation.
Hun Sen said ASEAN should play a leading role in promoting cooperation in East Asia. Cambodia thanks China for backing its current rotating ASEAN presidency and is ready to strengthen communication and cooperation with China on regional affairs, said Hun Sen.
Prior to the meeting, President Hu laid a wreath at Cambodia's Monument to Independence.
Both leaders also witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents after the meeting.
Ling Jihua, Wang Huning and Dai Bingguo attended the above activities.