BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Cambodia has resulted in significant achievements for the ties and cooperation between the two countries and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Chinese experts on Monday.
During the 4-day visit which concluded on Monday, Hu met Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, Senate President Chea Sim, National Assembly President Heng Samrin and Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was warmly welcomed by all walks of Cambodian society.
The two countries signed a variety of agreements on cooperation during Hu's visit, which is the first visit by China's head of state since 2000.
The two countries have also issued a joint communique, vowing to strengthen cooperation in politics, economy, defence, and strategy.
"This demonstrates the traditional friendship between the peoples of China and Cambodia," said Tong Xiaoling, Chinese ambassador to ASEAN, "the friendship was established by the leaders of older generations of both countries, and has faithfully continued through to the present day."
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1958, China and Cambodia have supported each other in various issues. In 2010, the two countries built the comprehensive strategic partnership.
This time around, Hu's suggestions for enhancing bilateral ties during this visit have been echoed by Cambodian leaders.
During Hu's visit, the two countries agreed to expand all-round bilateral cooperation and double bilateral trade between the two countries, reaching 5 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2017.
This cooperation will provide tangible benefits to the peoples of both countries, said Hu Qianwen, former Chinese ambassador to Cambodia.
China has almost 360 investment projects in Cambodia at present, with a total amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) of 1.43 billion U.S. dollars as of 2011. Cambodia's FDI to China currently stands at 130 million U.S. dollars.
Tong said China will further expand its investment in Cambodia's infrastructure, and provide more support to Chinese enterprises going to Cambodia.
In the meantime, this bilateral cooperation is also of strategic importance, said Hu Qianwen, adding that Cambodia understands and firmly supports China in issues concerning China's core interests, such as Taiwan and Tibet. Cambodia also takes a fair attitude toward the South China Sea issue.
In the joint communique announced on Sunday, the two countries agreed that China and the ASEAN countries shall continue to abide by the purpose and spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), give full play to all existing mechanisms including the Guidelines for the implementation of the DOC, facilitate the full implementation of the DOC, and ensure the success of the workshop on the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the DOC.
Experts said President Hu's visit to Cambodia will also help promote understanding between China and other ASEAN countries, especially during a period when international and regional situations are now experiencing profound changes.
President Hu's visit came after the United States announced its return to Asia Pacific at the end of last year. Moving its strategy eastward will have a significant impact in this region, said Zhang Jiuhuan, former Chinese ambassador to Thailand and Singapore.
Cambodia holds the presidency of ASEAN in 2012, and will host the 20th ASEAN Summit starting from Tuesday to Wednesday.
"China, Cambodia and other ASEAN countries all hope to maintain peace and stability of the region. Hu's visit will have positive influence during this period of change," said Zhang.
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