By Oum Sothea
Dear H.E. President,
I am truly touched by your candid and warmth message to Cambodian people: “China and Cambodia: Good Neighbors and Trusted Friends”. Even though I am away from Cambodia to make a humble living overseas, like the rest of my compatriots at home, we would like to extend our heartfelt welcome to your auspicious visit to our Kingdom of Cambodia.
It is difficult for me to add more to your kind and in-depth reflection of the very solid friendship between China and Cambodia, cemented over many decades, if not centuries, by many generations of our leaders. Both countries have witnessed growing cooperation in political, economic, social, cultural fronts, and the people-to-people bonds. I firmly believe that this cooperation will only be further strengthened to a new height upon your state’s visit to our Kingdom. Cambodian people are very thankful to the continuous support of China to rebuild and develop our country.
Since there is a zero chance for me to meet you in person, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely convey a few messages of mine to you for your kind consideration in order to solidify the friendship between nations.
I wholeheartedly embrace your vision to deepen political trust, promote win-win cooperation, strengthen international coordination, and enhance people-to-people friendship. I am very grateful and respect your will to support Cambodia in safeguarding sovereignty, maintaining domestic stability, and accelerating economic development. These will form the hallmark of the future cooperation between China and Cambodia, for which the young generation like myself will uphold.
H.E. President, in order to materialize this vision, please take note the followings. I understand that you chose to skip a dark episode in our relations during the Cold War period and Pol Pot Regime under which I lost my father. So I take the China-Cambodia relation at a very personal level. I understand that China did play some parts and take responsibility for the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge. I need your assurance that this will never happen again. I understand that your cognizance of Cambodia’s national condition and development path would ensure that China would play an important part to bring Cambodia’s back to her national reconciliation, unity, and democratization pathway. I awkwardly request you to urge our leaders from the government and opposition party to end their current political adversaries and settle their differences through negotiation and free and fair election for the national interests.
I am a strong supporter of your signature policies on the “Peaceful Rise of China” and “Belt and Road Initiatives”. For these, I would like to see more favorable market access for Cambodia’s agricultural products such as rice to China. More importantly, I would like to see more quality investment and trade between our countries. Moreover, in order to play leading role in global affairs, it is important that China’s official aids and corporations uphold high standards, the wish and needs of the local people, respect of domestic laws and culture, as well as environment and corporate responsibility standards.
I am optimistic that China will continue to play an important part in Cambodia’s peace and stability, modernization and industrialization, and in achieving the development aspiration of the people. Long-live China-Cambodia Friendship.