China’s Rapid Development is a boon not only for the Chinese People, but also for humankind in the world, including the Cambodians, a Cambodian Senior Diplomat Chhiv Yiseang, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia & Academics said on Saturday.

Speaking at the first Cambodia-China Forum on the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation held in northwest Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, Chhiv Yiseang, Foreign Ministry Secretary of State said; China has played a leading role in helping countries around the world develop their economies and societies.

“China’s rapid development in all fields has provided a lot of advantages, not only to the Chinese people but also to the people around the world,” he said, adding that China’s peaceful rise “has also importantly contributed to peace, security, prosperity and development in the region and in the world.”

Yiseang hailed China for creating the largest poverty alleviation miracle in human history by lifting up to 700 million people out of poverty since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

“China’s development has also been contributing to socio-economic development in Cambodia and in countries across the region and the world”

 Diplomat said.

Yiseang, who is also President of the National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations, said the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), proposed by China in 2013, has been playing a crucial role in boosting global growth, physical infrastructure development, cultural exchanges, and people-to-people contacts.

“The BRI, along with the Silk Road Fund and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, has played a vital role in strengthening the partnership and promoting win-win development among all participating countries,” he said.

Talking about the Cambodia-China ties, Yiseang said the two countries forged diplomatic relations on July 19, 1958, and the bilateral ties were elevated to the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation in 2010.

He said China is one of Cambodia’s biggest trading partners and the bilateral trade volume is expected to reach 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2023.

On the investment front, he said China is the top investor here with a cumulative investment of about 21 billion dollars from 1994 to date, he said, adding that on the tourism side, China is the largest source of revenue to Cambodia with over 2 million Chinese tourists visiting the kingdom last year.

He said the excellent ties between Cambodia and China are built based on the principle of equal treatment and mutual trust for mutual benefits.

“Cambodia firmly adheres to the One-China policy, as China firmly respects Cambodia’s independence and sovereignty,” Yiseang said.

Held under the theme of “Cambodia-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership toward the Community of a Shared Future: We Grow Together,” the one-day forum brought together more than 80 scholars from an academic circle, think tanks, universities, and government institutions in China, Cambodia, and some ASEAN countries.

Kin Phea, Director General of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC) of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the annual forum aimed at exploring ways to further enhance closer political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation, and people-to-people contacts between the two peoples and two countries.

“It will not only contribute to further enhancing the Cambodia-China relationship but also act as a public diplomatic tool in conveying the message of peace, friendship, development and good cooperation between the two countries,” Phea said.

Sok Touch, president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the Cambodia-China relationship has reached an all-time high in the history, and that China is Cambodia’s big supporter in socio-economic development.

“Cambodia and China are good brothers, neighbours, and partners, and the two countries always provide mutual supports and cooperate with each other very well,” he said at the forum.

The forum was organised by the IRIC in cooperation with the National Institute for Global Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.