by Asian Correspondent Staff | 15th July 2016
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany. Pic: AP.
CHINA has pledged to provide the Cambodian government with nearly US$600 million in aid to develop the country’s election, education and health infrastructures.
In a statement Friday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the aid was finalized after he met with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang at an Asia-Europe meeting in Mongolia.
China is a key ally and economic partner of impoverished Cambodia. It has provided millions of dollars in aid and investment over the past decade, granted it tariff-free status on hundreds of trade items and written off its debt.
In return, Cambodia supports China in international forums, including in Beijing’s ongoing dispute with other Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea.
In May, the World Bank announced it will resume direct financing to Cambodia after suspending funding for new development projects in the country five years ago.
The international financial institution approved $130 million in financing for four projects involving roads, water, agriculture and health care.
It said there had been a pause in funding new projects since 2011, but did not elaborate. Funding for ongoing projects had not stopped.
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The bank had cut off lending to protest the forced eviction of lakeside landowners in Phnom Penh to make room for a luxury development, even as it was working to combat land grabs. No reason was given for the resumption of lending, although the eviction dispute remains unresolved.
Additional reporting by Associated Press