PHNOM PENH, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming visit of Chinese president Hu Jintao to Cambodia next week will build closer ties between the two countries, China and ASEAN as the visit is coincided with the 20th ASEAN Summit, said a senior official Sunday.
The visit will also create more confidence among foreign investors in Cambodia's political and economic stability, said Khieu Kanharith, Cambodian Minister of Information and Government Spokesman, in an exclusive interview with Chinese media.
Hu Jintao is scheduled to pay a four-day state visit to Cambodia from March 30 to April 2 at the invitation of Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, according to a press release from Cambodia' s Foreign Ministry.
"We are very pleased to welcome his first visit to Cambodia. The visit will reflect the spirit of mutual understanding, respect and cooperation," he said.
The visit would show that even though China is a powerful country, it has always sought friendship relations with all countries in the region and the world.
"China always treats Cambodia as an equal friend without thinking that Cambodia is a small country," he said, adding that the visit would also demonstrate China's attention and commitment to strengthen closer ties with ASEAN countries.
Meanwhile, the minister reiterated that Cambodia still sticks to one-China policy, seeing both Taiwan and Tibet as a part of China.
In terms of economy, Khieu Kanharith said Hu's visit would encourage more Chinese investors and other foreign investors to Cambodia as they would trust in Cambodia's sound economic and political stability.
"We hope that during Hu's visit, many cooperation agreements will be signed," he said.
During the interview, Khieu Kanharith also highlighted good cooperation between China and Cambodia, and China and ASEAN.
The diplomatic ties between Cambodia and China have been bridged for more than 60 years during the age of former Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk and former Chinese leader Zhou Enlai, and the ties have been gradually fostered.
"Until now, our bilateral relations have reached the level of the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation," he said.
On the ASEAN-China relations, he said, as ASEAN chair this year, Cambodia would do all its best to promote more mutual understanding between ASEAN and China and would act as a neutral mediator in the South China Sea dispute in order to solve the issue peacefully based on the DOC (the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea) signed between ASEAN and China in Phnom Penh in 2002.
In regard to some Western media reported that China's huge aid and investment in Cambodia are to possess the country's economy and politics, the minister said that China is the largest investor and provider of loan and grant to Cambodia, but China has never attached any conditions with its assistance.
"Chinese investment here is 8.8 billion U.S. dollars. It is the largest capital for Cambodia. With this investment, Cambodia can reconstruct infrastructures and it makes Cambodia have political independence, play a suitable role on international arena, and practically now chair the ASEAN," he said.
He said Cambodia has really appreciated China for its policy of other countries' sovereignty respect, non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, and peaceful co-existing.
"This Chinese policy is a factor that makes the situation in Asia stable," he said.