Cambodian official, scholar praise Chinese president's remarks at Belt and Road forum

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Added On May 15, 2017

 PHNOM PENH, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's keynote speech delivered Sunday at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation truly reflects China's commitment to a world of peace and prosperity, a Cambodian official and a scholar have said.

In his speech, Xi highlighted that the Belt and Road should be built into a road of peace, prosperity, opening up, innovation and connection of different civilizations, adding that China would contribute an additional 100 billion yuan (about 14.5 billion U.S. dollars) to the Silk Road Fund.
 
Besides, two Chinese banks will set up special lending schemes worth a total of 380 billion yuan (about 55.1 billion U.S. dollars) to support Belt and Road cooperation.
 
Cambodia's Secretary of State and spokesman for the Council of Ministers Phay Siphan said that he totally agrees with Xi's idea, saying that the capital increase in support of the Belt and Road Initiative would bring enormous benefits to the countries involved.
 
"President Xi's remarks showed China's commitment to upholding peace and stability," he said. "I believe that the initiative will become the symbol of peaceful development and the symbol of international cooperation with mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity."
 
"I highly appreciate the initiative, which could help build a world of peace and development for all," he added.
 
The official said China's additional funding for the initiative is good news for the countries involved in the initiative and "will provide greater opportunities for countries to develop infrastructure and economy-driven sectors."
 
Joseph Matthews, director of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Education Center, said he completely endorsed the idea Xi raised at the forum.
 
"Without peace, economic development of any region or country is impossible," he told Xinhua. "The Belt and Road Initiative is the beginning of a new era of development in the region, and in future this road will be known as the Peace Road."
 
According to Matthews, China's generous contribution to regional development is laudable and encouraging.
 
"Most of the countries on the Belt and Road are poor and are struggling to meet the basic requirements of their people. This contribution will open the door for new development in the region."
 
Matthews said that for Cambodia, China is the biggest donor and contributor to the development of its infrastructure and industrial sectors.
 
"The Belt and Road Initiative will definitely help to maintain development and sustain the growth Cambodia has achieved in the past two decades," said the scholar.
In his speech, Xi called on countries to forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance.
 
"President Xi's statement about 'creating partnerships rather than alliance' is a very meaningful and powerful message to all countries that are seeking strategic and military alliance in the region, and acting like a provocateur," Matthews said.
 
The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by Xi in 2013 with an aim to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.