Phnom Penh (FN), Feb. 3 – Cambodia Chief diplomat told reporters prior to his departure on Feb. 3 to China that his visit had nothing to do with super-power issues since Cambodia will continue to maintain close relationship with both China and the United States of America. 

In response to suggestions by certain independent analysts, as brought up by reporters, that Cambodia has been close to China and at the same time stays far from the U.S., Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said while Cambodia is close to China, his country also intends to have close relationship with the U.S.

Hor Namhong recalled that during the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Cambodia, the latter mentioned that the U.S. did not need to see Cambodia choosing between China and U.S. “We all know that Cambodia is very close to China and we would like to be close with the U.S as well,” said Namhong.

Namhong said Cambodia is not in favor of one country against the other, even between China and Japan. Cambodia’s strategic partnership includes China, U.S. and Japan and there is no preference, he said. “Anyway, Cambodia will continue to strengthen cooperation with China to boost trade-exchanges between the two countries to $5,000 million in 2017. 

Before his departure to China for the 3rd Cambodia-China Inter-Governmental Coordination Committee Meeting, of which he will be co-chair, Namhong also explained that Cambodia would not take side in the South-China Sea conflict between China and Japan.