Facing the Future of China-Cambodia Relations


BEIJING, Dec. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The first Cambodia-China Cultural Exchange Forum and the Launching Ceremony of the Cultural Exchange Network of Cambodia and China was held in Beijing on December 16. As a key part of the event, Facing the Future of China-Cambodia Relations — a Survey Report on Cambodian Youth’s Perception of China, sponsored by China Huaneng Group and compiled by colleges and universities in the two nations, was released on the same day.

The study was conducted by the Center for Cambodian Studies (CCS) at Beijing Foreign Studies University and the Cambodia 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Research Center (CCMSRRC) at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. The report was the result of a survey conducted among members of Cambodia’s generation Z during which questions concerning their perception of China were asked.

According to data from the United Nations in 2020, the global Gen Z population (born between 1995 and 2010) reached 2.4 billion in 2019, accounting for 32 per cent of the world’s total, making it the planet’s largest. Respondents to the survey mainly included undergraduates and postgraduates from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and the Royal University of Law and Economics, researchers of the right age from the Royal Academy of Cambodia and independent think tanks, as well as some Gen Z members that are active on social media.

The survey focused on the respondents’ thoughts on the economy, politics, culture, society and the environment. According to the report, in terms of questions concerning the economy, a vast majority of respondents are of the opinion that Chinese companies have played a significant role in Cambodia’s economic development and that the Four Corners Strategy needs to be aligned with the Belt and Road initiative. On the political side, most respondents are bullish on the development of the relationship between the two nations. At the cultural level, both the Chinese language and Chinese culture are great attractions for Cambodian youth. As for social cognition, most respondents get positive messages about China and it is widely believed that China has achieved the greatest progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the same day, Chinese experts involved in the preparation of the report said that the survey results basically met expectations. As a next step, they plan to undertake further research by studying the issue from an empirical perspective based on the results.

At the forum, China Huaneng Group said that the company will continue to promote cultural exchanges as well as mutual cognition and understanding between Chinese and Cambodian youth, so as to facilitate meaningful and dynamic communications between the peoples of the two countries.