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Cambodia leader says China to give $600 million in grant aid

BEIJING — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, making a four-day visit to China, says Beijing has agreed to provide his nation with nearly $600 million in grant aid as part of a three-year assistance fund.

Hun Sen announced the aid from Cambodia’s most important political and economic ally on his Facebook page on Tuesday before any announcement by Beijing. He said the commitment was made in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Hun Sen said the two countries also agreed to increase their bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2023 and Xi promised to buy 400,000 tons of rice from Cambodia in 2019 and push more Chinese businesses to invest in Cambodia.

The agreements come as some Western countries are threatening to impose economic sanctions on Cambodia for repressing democratic rights.

The Associated Press