This aerial photo taken on June 5, 2023 shows the construction site of Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway, the kingdom's second Chinese-invested expressway, in Kandal province, Cambodia. (Photo by Ly Lay/Xinhua)
The friendship between China and Cambodia has thrived in the past 65 years and has evolved into a "role model" for world relations, a Cambodian scholar said.
PHNOM PENH, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The bilateral Diamond Hexagon cooperation framework will inject fresh impetus into the building of the Cambodia-China community with a shared future in the new era, a Cambodian scholar said on Wednesday.
Established by the two countries in February, the Diamond Hexagon cooperation framework has focused on six priority areas, including political cooperation, production capacity and quality, agriculture, energy, security, and people-to-people exchanges.
Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at Phnom Penh-based independent think tank Asian Vision Institute, said as 2023 marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and China, the Diamond Hexagon cooperation framework will give new momentum to the development of ties and cooperation between the two countries.
"With the newly established Diamond Hexagon cooperation framework, the two countries will be able to achieve more political, economic and security cooperation towards a community with a shared future in the new era," he told Xinhua.
Mengdavid said the friendship between China and Cambodia has thrived in the past 65 years and has evolved into a "role model" for world relations.
This aerial photo taken on May 10, 2023 shows the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd. (CSCEC) is currently providing general maintenance services to the China-aided stadium, which is the centerpiece venue for the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that Cambodia is playing host for the first time in 64 years. (Photo by Van Pov/Xinhua)
"Leaders-to-leaders, government-to-government, party-to-party, and people-to-people relations are the crucial elements that help enhance the unbreakable ironclad friendship between the two countries," he said.
Mengdavid said China's support for Cambodia's successful fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the past few years has built an even stronger fraternal bond of friendship between the two countries.
He added that China is one of the key economic drivers and humanitarian assistance providers to the Southeast Asian nation.
"Under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement, which both took effect in 2022, Cambodia-China trade and investment volumes have increased drastically," he said.
The two free trade agreements have facilitated trade liberalization and investment between the two countries, he added.
This photo taken on May 22, 2023 shows a view of the General Tire Technology (Cambodia) plant in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) in Preah Sihanouk Province, Cambodia. (Photo by Ly Lay/Xinhua)
As 2023 also marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the scholar said Cambodia is one of the first supporters of the BRI, which was proposed in 2013.
"Under the BRI, Cambodia and China have actively promoted pragmatic cooperation in the areas of people's livelihood improvement, agriculture, trade, investment, tourism, infrastructure, and people-to-people exchanges, among others," Mengdavid said.
He added that many Chinese mega-projects under the BRI such as hydropower plants, the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, the Phnom Penh-Sihanouk Expressway, the Morodok Techo National Stadium, and the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport have greatly contributed to promoting win-win cooperation as well as inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development.
"The fruit of China's peaceful development has been shared with Cambodia and other countries around the world through the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, the BRI, the Global Development Initiative, and the Global Security Initiative, among others," he said. ■