has put prime importance on Chinese financial assistance, which releases it
from some international pressure, Prime Minister Hun Sen told a Chinese delegation
“Loans or grants from China
have released Cambodia
from certain kinds of political pressure from international countries,” a
government spokesman said, quoting Hun Sen’s address to a delegation led by
Chinese National Committee Chairman Jia Qingling.
The delegation, arriving late Tuesday and preceding an
annual donor meeting by two days, signed over $200 million in aid that was promised at a
summit in October and has been earmarked for the construction of a road from
Preah Vihear province to Kampong Thom province.
The delegation also announced Wednesday nearly $14 million
in further aid.
In exchange, Jia called on Phnom Penh to support and protect Chinese
investments and to encourage bilateral cooperation in oil exploration and the mining
of iron ore, government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said.
emerged as a major donor to Cambodia,
providing grants, loans, donations, such as ambulances and construction
equipment, and military cooperation.
Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng
Jianzhu arrived in Cambodia
Sunday, promising $300,000 to police and security forces.
also pledged $91 million in aid at the donor meeting in 2007, making it Cambodia’s third-largest donor, ahead of the US.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said Wednesday the more friends
Cambodia had beyond those who share its borders, the better.
“Then, if we rely on China to prevent invasion from
neighboring countries, it’s a good thing, to protect territorial integrity and
national sovereignty,” he said.