China will provide Cambodia with $587.6 million in aid over
the next three years, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen said this week, as
Phnom Penh further cements ties with Beijing in the face of sanctions threats
from the European Union.
Hun Sen met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for bilateral talks during a three-day trip to Beijing and requested aid from China, his country’s largest donor and investor. “The Chinese President said that in 2019, China will import 400,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia, will increase bilateral trade to U.S. $10 billion by 2023 and encourage more Chinese investment,” Hun Sen added.
Additionally, the prime minister said, the two nations signed several smaller deals that would see China provide Cambodia with a highway from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh, a clean water initiative, and a bodyguard compound to protect the Council of Ministers in the capital, as well as restore several temples in Cambodia and rebuild its National Route 7, which was damaged in recent floods.
The meeting in Beijing comes as Western influence in Cambodia is on the decline amid criticism of Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) over rollbacks on democracy in the lead up to and aftermath of a July 29 election.
[Radio Free Asia]