-Excellency Najib Razak, Chairman of the Meeting,
-Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of People’s Republic of China,
-His Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies ASEAN Leaders,
-Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
First, I would like to join other ASEAN leaders in extending our warmest welcome to Excellency Premier Li Keqiang to this 18th ASEAN–China Summit.
I am really delighted to see great progress of ASEAN–China cooperation which will turn 25 years next month. Hence, to congratulate such a significant progress and cooperation, Cambodia voices its support of convening the Commemorative Summit of the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN– China Dialogue Relations in 2016 to be held in China and further promoting the implementation of joint activities between ASEAN and China. For her contribution to this special year, Cambodia will organize three activities, including: First) joint ASEAN – China art performance, Second) the 2nd ASEAN–China Youth Exchange Visit and Third) ASEAN–China Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum.
Indeed, China has been playing an important role in maintaining peace, stability, prosperity and sustainability in ASEAN region through our strong cooperation and relationship. The ASEAN–China relationship has been constantly and rapidly developed in all sectors, now reaching the strategic level. In this regard, I would like to congratulate the progress of the implementation of the Plan of Action 2011 – 2015 and to support the adoption of the Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN – China Strategic Partnership (2016 – 2020) for Peace and Prosperity in the region.
The upcoming 2016 marks the first year to start ASEAN Community. Going forward, ASEAN has adopted ASEAN Community Vision 2025 – Forging Ahead Together. In this context, Cambodia would like to thank China for the support in ASEAN Connectivity as well as the proposal to discuss the development of Master Plan on ASEAN–China Connectivity, which will complement the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and also greatly contribute to the aforementioned ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
Furthermore, Cambodia also welcomes the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to finance infrastructure development projects in the region, and the Initiatives on the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which will contribute to ASEAN–China Connectivity. I, therefore, would like to request the Joint Committee on ASEAN–China Connectivity to start taking into account the utilization of such financial resources for infrastructure development projects in the region.
Regarding ASEAN–China educational cooperation, Cambodia is of the view that 2016 will be the best year for ASEAN – China Educational Exchange to promote and enhance knowledge, friendship, solidarity and cooperation in various fields encompassing political and socio-cultural cooperation between ASEAN and China in a more comprehensive manner.
In addition, Cambodia would like to urge ASEAN–China Economic Ministers to accelerate the conclusion of negotiation on ASEAN–China Free Trade Agreements aiming at further promoting economic cooperation between ASEAN and China in order to achieve the bilateral trade goal of ASEAN–China, USD500 billion by the end of 2015 and USD 1 trillion by 2020, as well as the USD150-billion worth of bilateral investment by 2020.
Finally, Cambodia welcomes the outcome of the 1st Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which was held from 11th to 13th November 2015. I think such a sub-regional cooperation will make significant contribution to the establishment and enhancement of the regional integration, especially between ASEAN and China.