Roundtable Discussion on ASEAN and China Relations

Roundtable Discussion on ASEAN and China Relations
Chhay Daroth (UCSS)

The University of Cambodia (UC) hosted a Roundtable Discussion on “ASEAN and China Relations” in the UC Meeting Room on March 29, 2012. Jointly organized with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the discussion was chaired by H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Royal Government of Cambodia, President of UC; the guest-of-honour was H.E. Mrs. Fu Ying, Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China.

Other participants included H.E. Mr. Pan Guangxue, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Cambodia and other Chinese delegates; Dr. Chheang Vanarith, Executive Director, Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) in Phnom Penh; members of the UC management team and faculty from the fields of International Relations, Economics, Education, and Management; and more than 20 students.

After the opening remarks of Dr. Kao, H.E. Mrs. Fu Ying gave a brief introductory speech, describing her background, particularly her experiences with UNTAC for the purpose of maintaining peace and security in Cambodia. Then she took many questions from the participants. The discussion covered a wide range of topics including Cambodia-China relations, the support of China to Cambodia during the chairmanship of ASEAN, economics, peace and security in the region, security architecture, agricultural sector promotion, education, environmental protection, and other topics.

H.E. Mrs. Fu Ying noted that China has the best relations with Cambodia in the region, and China has also provided a lot of exchange programs for Cambodians to explore academic life and the educational system in China. The biggest concern of the ASEAN Community is the need to close the development gap, and she said that China will play an important role in narrowing this gap. Also, China is supporting Cambodian Chairmanship of ASEAN in terms of project support, equipment, expertise, and political and other technical support.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Kao noted that China had indeed provided a lot of support to Cambodia. He expressed his sincere thanks to H.E. Mrs. Fu Ying for her presence and sharing of her insights at UC. It would be another milestone for our bilateral relations, said Dr. Kao. H.E. Mrs. Fu Ying also hoped to come back to UC again. She then donated many copies of her collected speeches, published as a book entitled “When I Was There”.