Beijing (FN), May 24 – In a bid to boost bond of people to people, 25 delegates from Cambodian civil society networks, representatives from three government’s ministries and academia in Cambodia’s 25 provinces participated in an exchange program led by Civil Society Alliance Forum and hosted by China NGO Network for International Exchange (CNIE) from 15-22 May 2024.

The delegates paid visits to various places in Beijing, Henan (including Huangguis village, Creative Park of Zhenzhou, Shaolin Temple, Yangjiamen village, Yanlu Kungfu village and Henan Wanbang Logistic Hub) and Fujian (Yundang lake and Academy, Xiamen Planning Exhibition Hall, Gulangyu island and Xiantanwei Mangrove Coastal Wetland Ecological Park) and joined various forums to exchange views on cultures, histories, academic exchange and debate on strategic partnership and cooperation among Chinese civil society and Cambodian civil society organizations.

The exchange program signifies and amplifies “2024 Cambodia-China People-to-People Exchange Year,” the joint commitment and effort made by the leadership of both countries. The harmonious relationship between these two nations can be traced back to during Funan era (presently located in Angkor Borei of Takeo province, southern part of Cambodia used to be cultural and commercial gateways in ancient time) and Khmer Empire of Angkor age. Presently guided by wise leadership from the late King Norodom Sihanouk and under 30 years of wise leadership of former Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the two nations embarked on a renewed era of cooperation, and Cambodia has emerged as a pivotal partner in the Belt and Road Initiative, and President Xi Jinping’s three new global initiatives, namely the Global Development Initiative (GDI), Global Security Initiative (GSI), and Global Civilisation Initiative (GCI).

Samdech Thipadei Hun Manet’s full support of the “Diamond Hexagonal Cooperation Framework” demonstrates the new government’s unwavering commitment to continue Samdech Techo’s legacy of enhancing cooperation and collaboration between the two countries for years to come for the purpose of promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. One key factor contributing to their relationship’s success is the shared values between these two nations.

Cambodia and China share a deep respect for tradition, culture, and history which altogether form a solid foundation for their friendship. At the heart of this shared value system is a commitment to respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with equality. The trust and confidence between these two nations are two critical factors which lay foundations for their bilateral relations.

Looking to the future, Samdech Thipadei Hun Manet is poised to strengthen this bilateral relationship and to elevate it to a greater height. As part of the people-to-people bond promotion between Cambodia and China, the Civil Society Alliance Forum (CSAF) has collaborated with the China NGO Network for International Exchanges and has been extensively engaged on both short-term and long-term projects since 2017, including the construction of school buildings, digging water wells, providing school kits, vaccines, Covid-19 equipment, and supporting other poverty reduction initiatives. The May 2024 Exchange Visit had embarked on another milestone of deepening cooperation toward people’s heart through various long-term projects including livelihood promotion, agricultural produce linkages, SME promotion and capacity building, academic program and think tank cooperation, health and education improvement, tourism and culture promotion and exchange programs.

CSAF has so far been contributing to Cambodian government’s effort in boosting relationship between Cambodian people and Chinese people through civil society networks in 25 provinces.

“The two nations and one heart” (that is mutual respect for culture, tradition and history and equal treatment between China and Cambodia) has exemplified as a good model for deepening their people bond.