PHNOM PENH, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodia-China relations have become an "invaluable treasure" for both countries and peoples over the past 65 years, President of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC) Sok Touch said on Friday.
"We are all happy to see the 'tree of Cambodia-China friendship' grow and root deeply in these 65 years," he told a forum on Cambodia-China relations.
Touch said the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1958 under their then leaderships - Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Chinese older generation leaders, and the ties were elevated to the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in 2010 and then dubbed the "ironclad friendship".
"Cambodia-China relations have become a new driving force in boosting our people's livelihoods," he said. "The bilateral ties have not only provided tangible benefits to the peoples of the two countries, but also promoted peace, stability and development in the region and the world."
Organized by the Confucius Institute at the RAC, the half-day forum was attended by some 180 people, who are officials, academics, researchers and students.
Cambodian government adviser Ek Sam Ol said the current Cambodia-China relations have reached the highest-ever level in the history, saying that the ties have provided great benefits to Cambodia's socio-economic development and poverty reduction.
"No matter how the international landscape may evolve, the Cambodia-China ties are unbreakable," he said.
"We will further deepen our ironclad friendship, carry out mutually beneficial and win-win practical cooperation and promote the building of a high-quality, high-level and high-standard Cambodia-China community with a shared future in the new era," he added.
He said a consensus on the China-Cambodia "Diamond Hexagon" cooperation framework reached by both countries in February has served as a roadmap to boost bilateral cooperation in politics, production capacity, agriculture, energy, security, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Sam Ol, who is also president of the Cambodia-China Friendship Association, said China's Belt and Road Initiative, Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative are a great boon not only to Cambodia, but also to the rest of the world.
"These initiatives have won praise around the world as their common vision is to build a community with a shared future for mankind," he said.
Senior economist Ky Sereyvath, director-general of the RAC's Institute of China Studies, said China is the largest official development assistance provider, investor and trading partner of Cambodia, adding that Chinese aid and investment have played a crucial role in supporting the kingdom's socio-economic development and generating hundreds of thousands of jobs for locals.
"Under the Belt and Road Initiative, many Chinese mega-projects such as national roads, bridges, expressways, ports, airports, hydropower plants, special economic zones, and a national stadium have been carried out in Cambodia," he said.
Kin Phea, director-general of the RAC's International Relations Institute of Cambodia, said mutual political trust, respect, support, non-interference and win-win cooperation have driven Cambodia-China ties to an all-time high in history.
"China is the most reliable friend of Cambodia," he said. "The friendship between the two countries has rooted deeply based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, and equality and mutual benefit." ■