China signs new aid agreements with Cambodia

China signs new aid agreements with CambodiaBy Prak Chan Thul PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodia and China signed 19 aid and investment pacts on Thursday in the latest sign of their strengthening relationship as Cambodia turns further away from Western donors. China is Cambodia’s biggest aid donor and its backing has bolstered Hun Sen in the face of criticism over what his opponents have said amounts to his destruction of democracy ahead of an election this year. The agreements, whose value was not disclosed, were signed after talks between China’s Premier Li Keqiang and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen. They included one between the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation and China Development Bank (CDB) for a loan for a new airport in Siem Reap province, and another deal to build a highway from Phnom Penh to the beach resort of Sihanoukville, already a hub of Chinese investment.



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