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PHNOM PENH - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said he expects stronger Lancang-Mekong cooperation and more progress in China-Cambodia relations in a signed article published here on Tuesday.
Li expressed the hope that the upcoming second Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders"s meeting will discuss future action plans of LMC cooperation in water conservancy, education, culture, youth and other areas.
His article, titled "Building bridges of friendship and cooperation in the Lancang-Mekong region and between China and Cambodia", was published in the Khmer Times, a leading English-language newspaper in Cambodia.
Li will attend the meeting in Phnom Penh and pay an official visit to Cambodia from Jan. 10 to 11.
The LMC comprises six countries, namely Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Lancang-Mekong River, which stretches for nearly 5,000 km, "brings the six riparian countries together into a community with a shared future featuring equality, sincerity, mutual assistance and kinship," Li said.
Centering on the three pillars of political and security issues, economic and sustainable development, and social, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, the six countries have cemented cooperation in the areas of connectivity, industrial capacity, cross-border economic interactions, water resources, agriculture and poverty reduction, the premier said.
Hailing the fruitful results in cooperation, Li said the LMC has grown into a sub-regional cooperation framework with great potential and vitality.
"(It) is not only conducive to narrowing the development gap within Asean and advancing Asean integration, but also enriches South-South cooperation and efforts to foster a more open, inclusive and balanced economic globalization that benefits all," the article read.
Regarding China-Cambodia ties, Li said Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to Cambodia in 2016, which took China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a new level.
Noting that this year celebrates 60 years of China-Cambodia diplomatic ties, Li said: "We have given each other mutual support throughout the years when it comes to issues concerning our core interests, major concerns and principles of national dignity, sovereignty and independence."
"The great friendship spanning more than half a century between King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Chinese leaders has become a legend in the history of China-Cambodia and even international exchanges," the premier added.
The Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, which had attracted more than 100 companies from China and other countries and created nearly 20,000 jobs for the local community, stands as a symbol of renewed China-Cambodia friendship, Li said.
"China stands ready to facilitate deep synergy of its development strategies with those of Cambodia to advance bilateral cooperation across the board," Li said, adding that Chinese investment, technologies, industrial capacity and tourists will continue to contribute their share to Cambodia"s economic and social progress.