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Yunnan firm eyes Cambodian park

By Hou Liqiang and Li Yingqing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-11 06:57

A cultural investment company in Southwest China's Yunnan province plans to invest 150 million yuan ($21.8 million) to build a cultural park near the Angkor Wat world heritage site in Cambodia.

The plan, a response to China's Belt and Road Initiative, will help deepen mutual understanding between China and Cambodia through cultural exchanges and will foster their economic cooperation in the future, Yang Jinsong, a deputy to the National People's Congress, said during the two sessions.

Yang, assistant general manager of Yunnan Cultural Industry Investment Holdings Co, said her company drew up the plan after a show in Cambodia it invested in proved a success.

Since late November 2010, the company has staged The Smile of Angkor Grand Epic Show more than 2,300 times for audiences of about 1 million from various countries.

The show is performed in Siem Reap, capital of the Cambodian province of the same name and the location of Angkor Wat. The show employs about 170 Cambodians, Yang said.

Yang, from the Naxi ethnic group, also said the cultural park will cover 2 hectares, with a floor area of about 15,000 square meters.

She said there will be a 1,200-capacity theater in the park, where The Smile of Angkor Grand Epic Show will be upgraded with the help of the latest technology.

A museum featuring the Khmer Empire (802-1431) and the long history of Sino-Cambodian friendship will also be built in the park.

The museum will take as a theme a book written by Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) Chinese diplomat Zhou Daguan during his stay at Angkor in 1296 and 1297.

Zhou recorded details of his visit to Angkor, capital of the Khmer Empire, in his book The Customs of Cambodia, which played a key role in helping the French find abandoned Angkor.

There will also be an exhibition center housing Khmer cultural artifacts, a Sino-Cambodian training and cultural exchange center and a Sino-Cambodian culinary culture exchange center at the park. The exhibition center will employ local craftsmen and people with disabilities, or help them to start their own businesses, said Yang.

houliqiang@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 03/11/2017 page5)

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