by Mao Pengfei, Nguon Sovan
PHNOM PENH, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia and China need to depend on three key pillars of cooperation to achieve the goal of building a community of shared future with strategic significance, a Cambodian diplomat has said.
In a recently written interview with Chinese media, Cambodian Foreign Ministry's Under-Secretary of State Sok Soken said the pillars include political security cooperation, economic cooperation and soft connectivity cooperation.
POLITICAL SECURITY COOPERATION
He said both states need to continue to play supporting roles, especially in times of heightened geopolitical tension, to prudently safeguard each country's core interests by maintaining the momentum of strategic dialogues across multiple tracks.
"Mutual trust and understanding need to be further enhanced in order to strengthen Cambodia-China bilateral ties and to contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the region," Soken said.
More importantly, the promotion of foreign policy coordination at both national and international levels to address issues of common concern and interest needs to be further promoted by building common understanding of political and security environment in both countries as well as the regional developments in Asia and beyond, he added.
INTENSIFYING ECONOMIC COOPERATION
"Cambodia and China should generate more momentum in the promotion of their economic cooperation and co-prosperity through building seamless connectivity between the two countries including hard and digital infrastructure connectivity," the diplomat said.
It is imperative to increase experience sharing through close collaboration and coordination at national and sub-national level to maximize economic benefits from multilateral arrangements including the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanisms and ASEAN so to address key priorities such as capacity building for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their integration into regional production networks, he said.
It is also essential to build human capital and necessary infrastructure so as to be competitive within the context of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, he added.
Soken said efforts should also be placed on synergy creation between Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and other regional mechanisms such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the ASEAN Economic Community building.
Finally, the third pillar should focus on soft connectivity in education, science and technology, social and cultural cooperation, and people-to-people engagement, he said.
"This foundation for future bilateral relations should continue to be promoted in both quantity and quality across all levels," he said.
He said programs and activities for leaders, emerging leaders, academic institutions, researchers, and students should be further encouraged through increased mobility, along with cross cultural exchanges to promote and expand mutual understanding between the people of both countries.
Meanwhile, the diplomat also shared his view on the BRI, saying that undoubtedly, it is the most significant project of the 21st century.
Along with many BRI partners, Cambodia and China must continue our collective efforts adhering to the principles of good neighborliness so as to provide a success story of BRI and China's vision of a community of shared future for mankind to ensure peaceful co-existence and to increase prosperity for all peoples, Soken said.
"More efforts are needed in collaborating and calibrating for synergic relationship in the pursuit of our peaceful development and mutual prosperity," he said.