China to give $240 million to Cambodia

China to give $240 million to Cambodia

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 16, 2017 (Reuters photo)
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 16, 2017 (Reuters photo)

PHNOM PENH -- China has granted $240 million aid to Cambodia under agreements signed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on a state visit to Beijing.

The Khmer Times reported that Mr Hun Sen and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang signed six deals on Tuesday after a one-hour meeting to discuss ties between the nations.  

In one of the agreements, Cambodia and China pledged to develop economic and technical cooperation, with China providing aid of $174 million to Cambodia this year. The same figure was given by China under a similar deal last year.

In a meeting between Mr Hun Sen and Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday, Mr Xi said the aid would help Cambodia build schools and fund telecommunication and clean water projects in rural areas.

China will also provide a grant of about $65 million to expand the capacity of Preah Ket Mealea military hospital in Phnom Penh, Mr Xi added.

Other agreements between the nations hold promise to work together on the One Belt One Road initiative, electricity networks, transport, infrastructure, tourism and establishing a station for monitoring marine environments.

The countries have set a goal to have two million Chinese tourists visit Cambodia in 2020.

Mr Hun Sen posted on Facebook to say joint efforts to fight terrorism, human trafficking, online extortion, cybercrimes and transnational crimes would be a priority.

Issues in the South China Sea would not disrupt relations between China and Asean, the Prime Minister added, saying that he would support negotiations to  resolve disputes peacefully.

“Our Chinese counterparts are well prepared to provide assistance to Cambodia to develop the economy, improve the livelihoods of Cambodian people, and support Chinese enterprises.

“We also reiterated Cambodia’s commitment to the One China Policy,” Mr Hun Sen said, adding that China would help protect Cambodia’s sovereignty.

In July last year, the Chinese government also announced it would provide nearly $600 million to Cambodia for a three-year project to improve elections, infrastructure, education and the health sector.

China wrote off Cambodia’s debt of $87 million in 2015.

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