PHNOM PENH, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- As Cambodia and China are commemorating their 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year, a Cambodian ruling party lawmaker said the relationship between the two countries can be a role model in modern international relations.
In an article published in the Khmer Times on Wednesday, Suos Yara, a lawmaker from the Cambodian People's Party, said China is the engine of global growth and a core development and strategic partner of Cambodia.
"The Cambodia-China relationship can be a role model in modern international relations," he said. "It is about a special and equal relationship between a big country and a small country."
He said the Cambodia-China relationship is unique in three ways.
First, although Cambodia and China have different political ideologies and systems, they still can work closely together to advance their common interests.
Second, although China is much bigger and stronger than Cambodia, in terms of size and power, both countries treat each other equally and with mutual respect.
Equal sovereignty and non-interference are the key principles of international relations and the foundations of international peace and stability.
Learning from the past history, Cambodia is well aware of how a small state can survive and thrive. Economic pragmatism and strategic diversification are the core strategies of a small state.
Third, personal friendship between the leaders of the two countries has been nurtured from generation to generation.
Suos Yara said the friendship between the then Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was special.
"Their friendship is the bedrock of the contemporary and future cooperation between the two countries," he said. "The current generation of leadership has nurtured and strengthened the traditional friendship."
He said the future generation of leadership will continue to sustain and advance the relationship based on a shared vision and interest.
He added that both countries can offer experiences on how two countries with a large gap in power and size, and with different political ideologies and systems, can work together to promote trust and cooperation.
According to Suos Yara, currently, China is Cambodia's top investor and donor. The investments concentrate on the garment industry, hydropower, rice milling, rubber plantation and processing, mining and construction, he said.
Meanwhile, he added that the number of Chinese tourists to Cambodia has increased from 700,000 in 2015 to around 1 million in 2017 and will reach 2 million by 2020. Air connectivity between two countries will boost tourism and business opportunities.
From 2004 to 2017, China has offered more than 1,000 scholarships to Cambodian students to pursue their education in China, and more than 700 fellowships for short-term training, he said.
Looking forward, both countries need to maintain the momentum of the bilateral relations across sectors at multi-tier and multi-track levels.