2023 is designated the “China-Cambodia Friendship Year” to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Early this year, on February 10, Prime Minister Hun Sen paid an official visit to China in a bid to further the development of the two nations’ “Community of Common Destiny”. Hun Sen signed a dozen papers during the visit, covering various topics including politics, economy, commerce and trade, and culture.
During the visit of King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk on February 25, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that China and Cambodia are prepared to collaborate on creating a “Diamond Cooperation” framework with six key sectors.
Last year, the Queen Mother received the “Friendship Medal” in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the cause of friendship between the two countries. China asserted that its “no strings attached” aid had assisted Cambodia in achieving rapid economic growth, establishing a strong and functional government and promoting national security.
Sino-Cambodian relations can be traced back to ancient times, pre-date Angkor era and could be dated back as far as the 5th century. Historical records showed that two Buddhist monks, Mandrasena and Sanghapala, were to China by the Funan king to assist in translating Buddhist Sanskrit text into Chinese and one of them never returned back to Funan. And in the late 13th century, Zhou Daguan visited Angkor and provided invaluable insight about Angkor. These accounts showed the longstanding historical relations between the two civilisations.