Thursday, December 05, 2013
To Celebrate Relations With China, Hun Sen Plants Rosewood Tree
December 5, 2013
Prime Minister Hun Sen and the visiting president of the China-Cambodia Friendship Association (CCFA) each planted a tree inside the Peace Palace compound in Phnom Penh on Wednesday to celebrate the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Gu Xiulian, president of the CCFA, planted an Osmanthus Fragrans sapling, the mature version of which has culinary and medicinal value, while Mr. Hun Sen planted a Dalbergia Cochinchinensis, which grows in the wild across Cambodia and is better known as Siamese rosewood.
Sry Thamrong, personal adviser to Mr. Hun Sen, said that the planting was to commemorate Ms. Gu’s visit and represent enhanced cooperation between the countries.
“When we have some political crisis, we receive visits from Chinese leadership, such as recently we had the Chinese foreign minister visit,” he said, without further explanation.
“Samdech considers all aid that comes from China as not just [beneficial] to the development of the Cambodian economy but also strengthens Cambodia’s political independence,” he added.
The planting of the single Dalbergia Cochinchinensis comes as Cambodia’s forests are being destroyed by illegal loggers looking to cash in on the value of luxury rosewood, much of which is shipped to China.
Chinese import documents obtained last year revealed that more than 36,000 cubic meters—more than $60 million worth—of logs under the “rosewood” category had entered China from Cambodia between January 2007 and August 2012.
Speaking after the planting ceremony, Mr. Thamrong said that Ms. Gu had praised Cambodia’s rapid development and support for China.
“Chinese people always support and thank Cambodia because Cambodia has supported the politics and development of China,” he said. China is Cambodia’s largest foreign investor.
“[Ms. Gu]…said that [during] her visit, she felt like she had arrived in her own house.”
Posted by Jendhamuni at 10:34 AM