China's chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Wu Bangguo, arrived in Phnom Penh Wednesday, ready for official talks with Cambodia’s leaders in the wake of a visit for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Wu, whose first official goodwill visit lasts through Saturday, will meet Prime Minister Hun Sen and other government leaders, as well as King Norodom Sihamoni, to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries, a government statement said.
Last week, China agreed to donate $700 million to Cambodia for the construction of a railway between Phnom Penh and the Vietnamese border to improve regional trade links.
Wu is expected to sign an additional trade agreement this week. Through 2010, Cambodia exported $37 million in goods to China—more than double for all of 2009—while importing more than $775 million, according to government figures.
China is also a significant investor in Cambodia in garments, textiles, hydropower, agriculture and mining.
China’s fixed asset investment in Cambodia was $930 million in 2009 and $234 million in the first quarter of 2010.
Wu’s visit follows an official stopover by Clinton on Monday, he told a group of students at a meeting the US encouraged Cambodia to grow increased ties with many countries, including China. The US contributes about $70 million per year to Cambodia in aid.