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President Hu Jintao (L) shakes hands with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen during a welcome ceremony at the Peace Palace in the Office of the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh March 31, 2012. [Photo/XinPhua]
PHNOM PENH - Chinese President Hu Jintao and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed here Saturday to advance the comprehensive relations of strategic cooperation and partnership between their two countries.
In a meeting, the two leaders pledged to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields and to double the annual two-way trade to 5 billion U.S. dollars by 2017.
They also witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents, covering infrastructure, human resources, economy and tourism.
Hu said bilateral relations have withstood the test of time and vicissitudes in the international arena since the two countries established diplomatic ties more than 50 years ago.
"As both international and regional situations are undergoing profound and complex changes, continued enrichment and development of the comprehensive relations of strategic cooperation and partnership between China and Cambodia serves the fundamental interests and common aspirations of the two peoples," he said.
China is ready to work with Cambodia to further enhance political mutual trust and strengthen friendly cooperation, Hu said.
Hu put forward a four-point proposal with a view to further advancing China-Cambodia relations:
First, the two countries should maintain close contacts and strengthen strategic communication.
The two sides should formulate and implement a program of action for bilateral comprehensive relations of strategic cooperation and partnership and should step up efforts to expand party-to-party exchanges and cooperation in human resources training.
Noting that the next year would be the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Cambodia, Hu suggested the year of 2013 be designated as the Year of China-Cambodia Friendship to further expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Second, the two countries should expand pragmatic cooperation to realize a win-win situation, Hu said. The two countries should carry out overall planning for economic and trade cooperation in line with each other's advantages and development strategies.
The Chinese side encourages competent enterprises to invest in Cambodia to boost bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, civil aviation and tourism.
Third, the two countries should strengthen cooperation on security and law enforcement by jointly combating cross-border crimes such as terrorism and drug trafficking, and should maintain contacts between the armed forces of the two countries.
Fourth, China and Cambodia should manage to make multilateral coordination closer, strengthen mutual support, and strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation within the frameworks of the United Nations and regional cooperation mechanisms, to safeguard the common interests of the two countries and those of other developing countries, Hu said.
Agreeing with Hu's proposal, Hun Sen said the relations between Cambodia and China served as an outstanding example of good neighborliness.
He said he believed Hu's visit would boost mutual trust and the continued development of the comprehensive relations of strategic cooperation and partnership between Cambodia and China.
The prime minister said Cambodia sticks to the one-China policy, and is willing to maintain close contacts with China, and expand cooperation with China in trade, agriculture, infrastructure, security and law enforcement.
Hun Sen pledged to make efforts to ensure the Year of China-Cambodia Friendship a success and to encourage youth exchanges.
He also expressed the hope for greater coordination and cooperation with China within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations.
The Chinese president said maintenance of the general situation of stability and development in Asia deserves to be cherished, against the backdrop of profound changes in the whole world.
Asian countries have the capacity and responsibility to safeguard peace and stability in the region, develop the economy, improve people's livelihood and promote social harmony and stability, he said.
Cooperation among East Asian countries is in a crucial stage of development, Hu said, adding that cooperation in East Asia should take development as a priority.
Hu said China supports Cambodia's role in regional affairs in its capacity as the current rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Hun Sen said ASEAN should play a leading role in promoting cooperation in East Asia.
Cambodia thanks China for backing its current rotating ASEAN presidency and is ready to strengthen communication and cooperation with China on regional affairs, said Hun Sen.
The Chinese president is in Cambodia for a four-day state visit.