South China Sea: Wang Yi Beijing vows to stand by Cambodia no matter what as tensions rise

There will be China of Cambodia „The most reliable friend and staunch supporter”, regardless of the international context, is the Foreign Minister Wang Yi Cambodian President Han told Manatee on Monday, amid rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

During the meeting in Phnom Penh, Wang said China will continue to invest more in Cambodian infrastructure and improve productivity cooperation, according to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In response, Hun Manet said Phnom Penh's China policy was „stable”, adding that his country would firmly support China's stance on Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Nothing is mentioned about South China Sea China's official reading from the meeting.

Han Manet said Phnom Penh will continue to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure project led by Beijing.

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'Fruit of peace': New Chinese-funded airport opens in Cambodia

'Fruit of peace': New Chinese-funded airport opens in Cambodia

Wang also met Han Manet's father She is SenSenate President who was Prime Minister for about 40 years.

Hun Sen reaffirmed that Phnom Penh's stance towards Beijing remains friendly and unchanged and he called the two countries „close friends and strategic partners”.

After taking office last year, Han Manet traveled to China to meet with President Xi Jinping, sending a clear message that Phnom Penh's China-friendly policy prevailed despite the growing rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region over the South China Sea.

Xi and Hun Manet met twice in September and October last year. Foreign Minister Wang met with his Foreign Minister Senta Sophia Chok in Beijing in December.

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Wang's high-level visit to Cambodia this week also met with King Norodom Sihamoni, Deputy Prime Minister Son Santhol and Senta Sophia Chok.

In 2023, trade between the two countries will reach US$12.26 billion, an increase of 5 percent compared to 2022, according to Cambodia's Customs and Excise Department.

'Exclusive' access of Chinese warships to Cambodian port raises US concerns

China's emphasis on ASEAN ties has been highlighted by Wang's itinerary – which includes stops in Indonesia and ASEAN observer state Papua New Guinea before his trip to Cambodia – and the visit of political leaders from Vietnam and Laos to Beijing this month.

Beijing's ties with the Philippines have soured as the Asean member draws closer to Washington amid ongoing disputes in the South China Sea. Other ASEAN members are seeking to stay out of the crosshairs of US-China rivalry.

In Washington, there is concern about China's involvement in Cambodia's development Rheem Naval Base This follows Phnom Penh's dismantling of a US-built facility at the same site in 2020 in the Gulf of Thailand.

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