Spotlight: Confucius Institute in Cambodia serves as platform for promoting China's Belt and Road Initiative
While serving as a bridge of cultural and people-to-people exchanges between Cambodia and China, the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia has also played a big role in promoting China's Belt and Road Initiative in the kingdom.
The Confucius Institute in Cambodia, established on Aug. 12, 2009, is jointly run by the Royal Academy of Cambodia and China's Jiujiang University in Jiangxi Province.
On Dec. 22, 2009, then Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping unveiled the Confucius Institute in Cambodia during his visit to the country.
Thanks to steady and healthy development of bilateral relations between the two countries and concerted efforts from the two governments, the Confucius Institute in Cambodia has enjoyed smooth growth in its size and mission, contributing significantly to the friendship and understanding between the two peoples, Director of the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia Chea Munyrith told Xinhua in a recent interview.
China's Belt and Road Initiative, unveiled in 2013, is highly compatible with Cambodia's national development strategy. Seeking to be removed from a list of the least developed countries, to improve infrastructure including road, water, electricity, air and railway, which is lagging far behind its neighboring countries, is the key for the country to develop its economy.
When China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, the Cambodian government welcomed the strategy and expressed its willingness to participate in the projects under the framework of the initiative as it presents significant opportunities for participating countries, Chea Munyrith said.
But Cambodians, including many government officials, had no idea about the details of the initiative such as how it would be pushed forward, in which way the country would join it and how the country would benefit from it, the director said.
To promote the initiative aimed at seeking common development and forging a community of common destiny, the Confucius Institute in Cambodia has devoted itself to raising the awareness of the Cambodian public.
"The institute, based on the materials collected from Internet and TV programs, produced a videotape to introduce the Belt and Road Initiative. We went to government departments in the capital and traveled to at least 15 provinces with the videotape," Chea Munyrith said.
The Belt and Road Initiative aims at five goals, namely policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds, the director said.
In terms of people-to-people bonds, efforts should be made to promote exchanges and dialogues between different cultures, strengthen friendly interactions between the peoples of various countries, and promote mutual understanding and traditional friendship, and this is what the Confucius Institute in Cambodia has been working for, he added.
"Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay his first state visit to Cambodia soon to further enhance bilateral relations between the two countries. The Confucius Institute is planning to host another forum on China's Belt and Road Initiative."
China is now the second largest economy in the world and its economy has witnessed rapid growth in the past years while the performance of world economy generally remains lackluster.
The director said his country has a lot to learn from China including governance and experiences in developing economy.
The book "Xi Jinping: The Governance of China" outlines the full political ideas of the top leadership of China and is of model significance, he said.
"To introduce the political ideas to Cambodians, I have translated it into Cambodian. I hope it will be published soon."
The Confucius Institute in Cambodia is one of the 14 model Confucius Institutes established in 12 countries.
PHNOM PENH, Oct. 13 (Xinhua)