Road is Hope and Wealth
It is indeed good to hear that the Chinese saying goes “to be rich first you have to build the road” and in Khmer we say where there is a road there is a hope. We have been opening many construction sites with the financial assistance form China and please allow me to share with you what happened in just on year. On February 11, 2007 we opened the construction of the NR 76 which has the total length of 127 kilometers from Snuol to the city of Sen Monorom of Mondulkiri province. On March 15, 2007 we opened the construction of the NR 8 which has the total length of 109 kilometers from the Bridge at Prek Tmak of Khsach Kandal district to the Vietnamese border at Prey Veng’s Anlong Chrey.
On June 6, 2007, we opened the construction of the Bridge of Prek Tamak which is 1,060 meters with a width of 13 meters in the commune of Prek Anh Chanh in Muk Kampul district. We opened the 975 meters Bridge of Prek Kadam construction on June 11, 2007 and the construction of the NR 56 on March 26 this year from Battambang to Pailin with the total length of 103 kilometers.
Today we opened the construction of the NR 62 which is 150 kilometers with 45 bridges and 308 waterways. We will have the 24 kilometer NR 210 from NR 62 to Srayang Koh Ke that will connect to Preah Vihear on one side and to Siemreap province on the other. We also need financial commitment to build the road from Tbeng Mean Chey back to Kompong Thom (129 kilometers). From Preah Vihear one can go either to Kompong Thom or to Siemreap via Srayng Koh Ke or to say that the people in Preah Vihear have got two connections.
My position has been clear from the beginning that what I want is not to achieve only administrative and political integration but all-out integration which will make this integration work – mainly the road connection. Integration into ASEAN and into the Greater Mekong Sub-region requires that Cambodia has to first integrate internally otherwise we could not benefit from outside integration.
We have now built the NR 7 that brings us to the border with Laos, two other roads – the NR 8 and and 76 – connect Cambodia to Vietnam, whereas the NR 57 we have Battambang connected with Pailin and on to Thailand. We have mainly now connected among many different parts of the country and hope that we will be able to do more in a speedy manner.
Sino-Cambodian Diplomatic Relations
This year we commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Sino-Cambodian diplomatic relations and all activities that are undergoing are meant to be parts of this commemoration. This year we also will inaugurate the new building of the Council of Ministers and I will have a better place to work like others. China this year is to host the Olympics Games and HM the King of Cambodia will attend the opening ceremony.
Aside from that I will have two trips to China – in October for Asia-Europe meeting and again to Nanning’s as special guests of the ASEAN-China Expo. Taking this opportunity I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, former King of Cambodia for establishing diplomatic relations with China 50 years ago. The relationship has brought good things to the children of Cambodia. Cambodia will continue without alteration its One-China policy. Some people said Hun Sen is kowtowing China but for me Taiwan and PRC is one china.
Cambodia would be unhappy if Preah Vihear seceded from the country to declare independence with some foreign support. I think this example could put you in the shoe of China. We do not agree with the measures to prevent the Olympic Games or to get the Olympics as a hostage to the Tibet’s issue, Sudan, etc. Cambodia disagrees with that. There has been an attempt to launch a demonstration to put pressure on the Government of the PRC and Sudan through putting a hindrance to the Olympic Games. I told the Minister of Interior that Cambodia allows no fighting in our country. They may do whatever they want to elsewhere but not in Cambodia. Cambodia does not allow its territory to be a place where one country fight against the other. China also is not allowed to use their territory to fight against other countries as well. Cambodia is a small country but we have equal footing in all matters./.