Hun Sen to Meet Chinese PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen will meet Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji  during an official visit to China next week, Cambodian and Chinese officials said Tues­day.

“The leaders of the two countries will have meetings and talks and will exchange views on how to promote the traditional friendly relations between China and Cambodia and issues of common concern,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Zhan Qiyue.

Hun Sen is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Feb 9 for a four-day visit.

On Sunday, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Yi left Cambodia after a visit to Phnom Penh. Wang Yi met with Hun Sen on Friday and the two discussed bilateral relations and preparations for next week’s visit, Ros Kosal, an adviser to Hun Sen said Tuesday.

Hun Sen will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Hor Nam Hong and perhaps Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An and Finance Minister Keat Chhon, Ros Kosal said.

Hun Sen was last in Beijing in December when he visited King Norodom Sihanouk, who was undergoing medical treatment there.

During that visit, Hun Sen met with Li Peng, head of China’s parliament and No 2 in the ruling Communist Party.

Cambodian-Chinese relations have become increasingly close in recent years with several high-level visits to Beijing. China has also regularly donated civil and military equipment.

Most recently, China donated $3 million worth of agricultural machinery.

The value of Chinese investment proposals in Cambodia has increased sharply in the year following fighting in the capital in July 1997, while nearly every other foreign country’s investment proposals have dropped.

China is seen as a key international player in Cambodia be­cause of its past involvement as a major diplomatic and military  supporter of the Khmer Rouge from the early 1970s until the UN-brokered peace accord in 1991.


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