By Zhao Yipu
China’s poverty alleviation efforts are of global significance, said Kemreat Viseth, chairman of Cambodian Civil Society Alliance Forum (CSAF), an organization supporting Cambodia’s development through civil society in accordance with the country’s national development policy.
These efforts provide experiences for developing countries including Cambodia, Viseth noted.
According to him, poverty alleviation projects jointly launched by Cambodia and China have made constant and positive progress in the past years, and China’s poverty reduction experiences have benefited many rural areas in Cambodia.
“Chinese government and non-governmental organizations provide us with selfless assistance, which drives local economic and social development,” the chairman told People’s Daily, adding that Cambodia-China cooperation on poverty alleviation enjoys broad prospects.
On a bookshelf in Viseth’s office, the Cambodian keeps two volumes of the Cambodian version of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book – Xi Jinping: The Governance of China.
He said these two volumes are an important collection of his because they record the secrets to the development of China, the largest developing country in the world.
“China has achieved astonishing progress in the past decade, and the book is a window from which the rest of the world can observe and understand the country,” Viseth said.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has united and led the Chinese people to complete many missions that were considered impossible by others, such as achieving sustained and stable economic growth, expanding international influence, and reaching its first centenary goal of completing a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Viseth said.
“The answers to why the CPC is able to make such achievements are all in the book,” he told People’s Daily.
He said the line “Enabling the people to have a stronger sense of benefit” in the book impressed Viseth very much.
The CPC is a party that’s closely connected with the people, he explained, adding that the CPC has united and led the Chinese people to achieve a glorious victory against poverty, bringing tangible benefits to the people.
Viseth has paid frequent visits to China upon the invitation from the International Department of the CPC Central Committee and other departments.
When he visited a village in suburban Beijing in 2017, he was deeply impressed by the poverty reduction course of the villagers.
Under the support of local poverty alleviation policies, the villagers planted grapes and strawberries, and grabbed a fair share in the Beijing market. Besides, many of them have opened fruit-picking orchards to attract tourists from downtown Beijing.
“Many cars from downtown areas were seen parked at the gate of the village on holidays,” said Viseth. The once-quiet village is now home to a number of noisy agritainment facilities, and it is these practical measures that have led the villagers to a better life, he noted.
“I’ve visited many places in China to learn the country’s poverty alleviation experiences, and I can list more examples,” he told People’s Daily.
China’s theory and practice prove that absolute poverty can be eliminated as long as a country’s government adopts positive political visions, science-based poverty reduction strategies and appropriate policies, and works together with its people, Viseth remarked.
A China-Cambodia demonstration project of poverty alleviation officially kicked off in a Cambodian village 60 kilometers away from Phnom Penh in January 2021. Under the three-year project, the Chinese side will connect the Cambodian village to roads and clean drinking water, improve the village’s education and healthcare, and offer the village with vocational training.
Viseth told People’s Daily that the project is expected to apply China’s poverty alleviation experience in Cambodia’s rural construction and find a way to poverty elimination that suits local conditions. According to him, the project is currently well under way.
“Cambodia and China have offered mutual support to each other over the years. Under the framework of the Cambodia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation and the Cambodia-China community with a shared future, the two countries and peoples have established an unbreakable friendship that grows from strength to strength,” Viseth said.
He believes the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by President Xi will encourage countries to pursue peace, progress and sustainable development on the basis of mutual respect, equity and win-win cooperation.
Both Cambodia and China will actively implement the action plan on building a China-Cambodia community with a shared future, and bring their friendship to higher levels, Viseth said.