‘Ironclad’ China-Cambodia friendship shines amid parties’ anniversaries

General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message on Monday to Samdech Techo Hun Sen, president of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), on the 70th anniversary of the CPP’s founding, signifying the ironclad friendship and time-honored and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two parties, as well as the two countries.

Xi’s letter came at a time when the CPC is preparing for its centenary on July 1. Xi stressed that China and Cambodia are staunch friends and a community with a shared future, with their relations having long enjoyed high-level development. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides have pulled together and helped each other, and have vividly illustrated their unbreakable and everlasting friendship with concrete actions, Xi said.

Prior to Xi’s letter, CPP members, Cambodian officials and people had congratulated China on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who visited Southwest China’s Chongqing in early June, congratulated China on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC during a meeting with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

In a recent interview with Chinese media, Khuon Sodary, second vice-president of the Cambodian National Assembly and a member of the standing committee of the CPP, spoke highly of China’s enormous development that the country achieved and its important role in international arenas under the leadership of the CPC.

Gu Xiaosong, head of the ASEAN Research Institute at Hainan Tropical Ocean University, told the Global Times on Monday that China and Cambodia illustrate what a true “ironclad” friendship is. The good relations between China and Cambodia are demonstrated in various ways, including good interactions between ruling parties, the CPC and the CPP.

The ironclad friendship between the two countries is based on mutual trust, fostered during fights against imperialism and Cambodia’s path to independence, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times on Monday.

The friendship between China and Cambodia sets an example for other ASEAN countries as the two countries choose to cooperate and back each other with shared common interests and form a community with a shared future, Zhuang said.

Cambodia can be considered the best friend of China in the ASEAN who always backs China on South China Sea issues and other key international issues. The traditional friendship shines and further strengthens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Gu told the Global Times.

While some Western countries throw mud on China especially in the early phase of the pandemic, Cambodia showed solidarity with China. Hun Sen became the first foreign leader to visit China during China’s nationwide fight against the novel coronavirus.

In return, Cambodia enjoys the most benefits from China among ASEAN countries. The good ties between the countries symbolize the saying, “a friend in need is a friend indeed,” Zhuang noted.

In the early phase of the pandemic, the Chinese government sent a team of medical experts to Cambodia to help the country fight the COVID-19, in addition to providing medical supplies.

Cambodia has received COVID-19 vaccines from China, giving a boost to the country’s vaccination drive. The latest batch of a million doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Phnom Penh on Saturday, and another million is expected to be delivered to the country on Monday, according to the Chinese embassy.

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