Xi Jinping arrives in Cambodia with tight security and much fanfare

Xi Jinping arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday afternoon to a hero's welcome, with the capital city decked out in Chinese flags and banners anticipating his arrival. 

The Chinese president is in town for a two-day state visit at the invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni, Cambodia's constitutional monarch.

While Xi is certainly expected to pose for a photo with the king, his real work will be meeting with long-ruling Prime Minister Hun Sen, currently China's strongest ally in South-East Asia and in its ongoing dispute over the South China Sea. 

Xi's visit is expected to be accompanied by promises of more foreign aid, to top up the 600 million dollars promised in July to fund the upcoming elections in 2017 and 2018.

Hun Sen told Cambodian media last week that both countries would sign "28 agreements" without specifying their content. They are widely expected to include 300 million dollars in agricultural assistance, according to the Cambodia Daily, and a raised import quota for Cambodian rice and produce. 

China recently doubled its rice imports from 100,000 to 200,000 tons annually.

Last update: Thu, 13/10/2016 - 11:41

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