Roundup: China's sticking to opening-up amid pandemic boon to global recovery: Cambodian officials, experts

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 10, 2020
Adjust font size:

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's sticking to reform and opening-up amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic is a boon to regional and global economic recovery, Cambodian officials and experts have said.

Cambodian government chief spokesman Phay Siphan said China has been taking firm and steady steps to promote reform and opening-up despite global uncertainty caused by the pandemic, protectionism and unilateralism, adding that China's keeping to reform and opening-up is not only a boon to China itself, but also to the region, particularly to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the world.

"China and ASEAN are biggest trading partner to each other," he told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. "China's further opening up will provide bigger market for the world, especially neighboring countries in this region."

China has been a role model in promoting free trade and multilateralism, Siphan said, adding that the recently signed China-Cambodia Free Trade Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal are vivid examples.

He is optimistic that Chinese consumers' demand will greatly boost the agricultural development and the tourism recovery in Cambodia.

In this digital era, he said China's leverage in digital economy will boost regional economic integration in post-pandemic recovery.

"Digital economy is also ASEAN's focus, so Cambodia and China can cooperate to upgrade the digital infrastructure, especially 5G network," Siphan said.

Kin Phea, director general of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia, said China's commitment to further reform and opening-up would contribute to rebuilding regional and global economy in the post-COVID-19 pandemic.

"China has played a very important role in enhancing multilateralism in the global economy," he told Xinhua.

Phea said China's role in regional and international affairs is more important in recent years and that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been a new global force of peace, stability, prosperity and harmony.

Amid rising protectionism and anti-globalization sentiments, the BRI has been seen as "a global initiative which will build a silk road of peace towards the economic globalization that is vibrant, more open, more stable and more sustainable," he said.

China's further reform and opening-up have contributed to a bigger trade volume between China and ASEAN despite the ongoing pandemic.

In the first 10 months of this year, bilateral trade between China and ASEAN increased by 7 percent year-on-year to 3.79 trillion yuan (about 571.64 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 14.6 percent of China's foreign trade, according to China's General Administration of Customs.

Chheang Vannarith, president of the Asian Vision Institute, said the increasing economic interdependence between China and ASEAN is the cornerstone of long-term peace and shared prosperity in the region.

"Against the backdrop of rising protectionism and unilateralism, China and ASEAN are compelled to deepening their economic integration and advancing inclusive, open, effective and rules-based multilateral system," he said.

Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said the steady growth of economic and trade ties between China and ASEAN was underpinned by mutual strategic trust and confidence between the two sides.

"China's principle of adhering to mutual respect and treating each other as equals is the fundamental principle to continuously deepen the cooperative relationship between China and ASEAN," he told Xinhua.

He said China has been playing a key role as the global economic stabilizer, and driving force to alleviate, reduce and ultimately eliminate the poverty in the region.

Matthews said multilateral and free trade practices are key to developing the underdeveloped and neglected poor countries, and eliminating poverty, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa, South Asia and Latin American countries.

"Protectionism, unilateralism, unfair economic sanctions on other countries, trade tariff barriers, and using trade as a weapon to intimidate or to subjugate sovereign states in the name of democracy and human rights are all malpractices," the professor said. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from