China’s Wen Jiabao To Visit Cambodia Friday

Wen Jiabao, Premier of China’s State Council, will arrive in Cam­bo­dia on Friday for a two-day official visit, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The State Council oversees all of China’s ministries, making Wen Jia­­bao’s position roughly equivalent to that of Cambodian Cabinet Min­is­ter Sok An. He is also the highest-ranking official to visit Cambodia from the current Chinese administration, which took office when Hu Jin­tao became president in 2003.

Wen Jiabao is scheduled to have official talks with both Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen and King Norodom Si­ha­moni during his two-day stay, ac­cording to a Foreign Ministry press re­lease. He will also visit informally with Senate President Chea Sim and National Assembly President Heng Samrin.

Cambodia will be Wen Jiabao’s fi­nal stop on a four-country tour that be­gan in Australia and continued in Fiji and New Zealand, according to media reports.

While in Cambodia, Wen Jiabao is scheduled to sign 11 agreements addressing transnational crime, health cooperation, telecommunications, loans and aid.

Chinese Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Gao said the agree­ments will foster infrastructure development as well as private investment by making it easier for Chinese banks to grant loans for Cambodian projects.

Gao added that ethnic Chinese Cambodians and overseas Chinese living in Cambodia planned to meet Wen Jiabao on Friday.

Among the assistance detailed in the agreements are 30 fire trucks, a mobile container scanning system, the establishment of a national botanical garden and additional help protecting Angkorian temples.

Wen Jiabao will also attend the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for a $280 million hydropower plant on Kampot province’s Kam­chhay river.


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