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China, Cambodia sign agreements during Xi's visit

By AN BAIJIE in Phnom Penh (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-10-13 22:48

China, Cambodia sign agreements during Xi's visit

President Xi Jinping arrives for a state visit to Cambodia in Phnom Penh October 13, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and Cambodia agreed on Thursday to take measures to expand their trade during President Xi Jinping's first state visit to the Southeast Asian neighbor.

Witnessed by Xi and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the two countries signed a number of agreements covering areas such as agriculture, oceanic, energy, telecommunication, investment and infrastructure.

The two sides also agreed to jointly implement the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and enhance cooperation in production capacity. The initiative, consisting of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by Xi in 2013 with a focus on infrastructure.

During his talks with Hun Sen, Xi said he received a magnificent and friendly welcome "from the moment I stepped from the plane". Hundreds of students welcomed the delegation with portraits of the two countries' leaders on the streets outside the airport.

China will continue to offer more support to Cambodia to help the country maintain stability and improve people's livelihoods, Xi said.

Under the leadership of Hun Sen, Cambodia has gained stable social order and rapid economic development, improved people's livelihoods and promoted the country's international status, Xi said.

The Cambodian prime minister called Xi's visit historic and said it will strengthen the traditional bilateral friendship.

He also expressed gratitude for China's medical treatment of Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath.

Xi was making his first state visit to Cambodia since he became China's top leader in late 2012. He will fly to Bangladesh on Friday morning and then go to Goa, India, to attend the eighth BRICS Summit.

In July, Cambodia voiced support for China's stance on the South China Sea issue after the ruling by an international arbitration tribunal in a case unilaterally launched by former Philippine president Benigno Aquino III.

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