Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
by Mao Pengfei, Nguon Sovan
PHNOM PENH, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen's special visit to China displayed the profound friendship and solidarity between the two countries and peoples, Cambodian officials and scholars said Thursday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met separately with the visiting Cambodian prime minister on Wednesday in Beijing.
When meeting with the Chinese president, Hun Sen said that he decided to make a special visit to China with an aim to showcase Cambodia's support to China in fighting the outbreak of the epidemic.
Photo taken on Feb. 5, 2020 shows a doctor writing the name on the protective suit for Peng Zhiyong (L), the director of the intensive care unit, at an isolation ward in Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. Health workers write names on their protective suits for each other for the sake of recognition in the isolation wards. (Photo by Zhong Nanxuan/Xinhua)
FIGHTING THE VIRUS TOGETHER
As some countries have adopted some extreme measures to curb the virus' spread, Cambodian government chief spokesman Phay Siphan said that Hun Sen's Beijing visit sent a message to the world that it is unnecessary to be "extremely scared."
"The prime minister's special visit shows Cambodia's strong support to China in fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus," he told Xinhua.
The chief spokesman said that Cambodia, as a true friend of China, extends its best wishes to all Chinese people, and is confident that China will win the fight against the virus soon.
Chheang Vannarith, president of the Asian Vision Institute, said that the visit clearly reflected the deep friendship between the two countries.
"Cambodia always stands with China in the fight against common threats such as the novel coronavirus," he told Xinhua. "The visit has also inspired the peoples of both countries to stay calm, build strong spirit and take concrete measures to deal with the outbreak."
A tourist asks for information at the launching ceremony for a guidebook for Chinese citizens to travel in Cambodia at Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 28, 2019. A 37-page Guide for Chinese citizens to travel in Cambodia was launched here on Wednesday. (China-Cambodia Friendship Radio/Handout via Xinhua)
FRIEND IN NEED, FRIEND INDEED
Hun Sen said last week that he is confident in China's ability to control the novel coronavirus and that Cambodia will neither ban flights from China, nor evacuate its citizens from the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
"A friend in need is a friend indeed. This is the slogan of Cambodia since our ancestral times," he said in a public speech.
The visit also made the headlines of local media. Khmer Times published an article titled "PM visits China to show support." It said that Hun Sen's visit was to show solidarity with China during a difficult time and to encourage Cambodian students in China not to panic over the epidemic.
Fresh News, the country's largest online media platform, covered Hun Sen's activities in Beijing from the beginning until the end, mentioning that Hun Sen had been the first foreign leader to visit China since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. It said that the visit would further deepen the bilateral fraternal friendship between the countries. ■