Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen (front right) and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo (front left) attend the ground breaking ceremony in Kampong Cham province, Cambodia, on Feb. 9, 2018. Cambodia on Friday broke ground for the construction of the eighth Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River, connecting Kampong Cham province and Tboung Khmum province in the country's southeastern part. (Xinhua/Mao Pengfei)
KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Friday broke ground for the construction of the eighth Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River, connecting Kampong Cham province and Tboung Khmum province in the country's southeastern part.
The ceremony was presided over by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo, and was attended by government officials and some 6,500 local residents and students.
The 1.13-km bridge, along with an 8.3-km connecting road, will be constructed by the Shanghai Construction Group under the China's concessional loan, and the construction is expected to be completed in early 2021.
Hun Sen said the new bridge was born from the excellent relations between Cambodia and China and expressed his sincere thanks to the government and people of China for always supporting Cambodia in socio-economic development.
"This is the 8th large bridge being built in Cambodia under the concessional loan of the Chinese government," he said.
"I believe that not only residents in the two provinces, but also others throughout the country will benefit from this bridge," he said.
Ambassador Xiong said China is pleased to support Cambodia in the development of transport infrastructure, which is a key element to boost local economy and to reduce poverty.
According to the Cambodian Ministry of Public Works and Transport, besides the bridges, nearly 2,000 km of roads have already been constructed under China's aid, as the construction of another 700 km of roads is underway.