Cambodian and Chinese officials visit an exhibition of projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) in Sihanoukville, Cambodia on May 22, 2023. (Photo by Zhao Yipu/Xinhua)
"The BRI has greatly benefited not only Cambodia, but also ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) as well as other participating countries," Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said.
SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia celebrated the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), highlighting its great contributions to the kingdom's socioeconomic development and poverty reduction.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian attended the celebration event, which was held at the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ), a flagship project of the BRI.
Hun Sen said under the BRI, many mega-projects, including roads, bridges, ports, power plants, expressways, special economic zones, airports, and stadium have been carried out in Cambodia.
"The BRI has greatly benefited not only Cambodia, but also ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) as well as other participating countries," he told the event with more than 24,000 workers from 175 factories in the SSEZ.
BRI, which consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by China in 2013 with an aim of building trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
Over the past decade, 151 countries and 32 international organizations have signed documents under the BRI framework.
Hun Sen said that the BRI was designed to promote common peace, development and economic prosperity of the countries in the region and the world.
"It has provided mutually beneficial cooperation and win-win results for all," he added.
This photo taken on May 21, 2023 shows the entrance of the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. (Photo by Ly Lay/Xinhua)
As 2023 marks the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Cambodia and China, Hun Sen said the bilateral ties have reached the highest ever in history, noting that the "ironclad friendship" between the two countries is "unbreakable."
Meanwhile, Ambassador Wang said the SSEZ, the largest industrial zone in Cambodia in terms of size and occupancy, is a model project of practical cooperation between China and Cambodia under the BRI.
"This special economic zone has become the locomotive of economic growth in Sihanoukville province and provided 'golden rice bowl' jobs for local residents," he said.
At the event, Hun Sen also officially inaugurated the 300-million-U.S.-dollar General Tire Technology (Cambodia) plant, a subsidiary of Chinese tire maker Jiangsu General Science Technology and a newcomer to the SSEZ.■