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Home arrow China arrow Cambodian king to attend opening of Beijing Olympics
Cambodian king to attend opening of Beijing Olympics PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni will attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a Chinese diplomat said yesterday, thanking the government for its support of the troubled Games.
"King Norodom Sihamoni will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing," Chinese ambassador Zhang Jin Feng said during a press conference for local media.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the government for supporting China … and the government's (efforts) earlier this year to bar non-governmental organisations from using Cambodia to oppose the Olympic Games in China."
In January, Cambodian police blocked American actress Mia Farrow and her group, Dream for Darfur, from holding a ceremony at Phnom Penh's genocide museum as part of a campaign to highlight China's links to Sudan.
Zhang said she wished that the protest-hit Olympic torch, which arrived in Thailand earlier Friday, was making a stop-over in Cambodia.
"I feel regret that the torch will not come to Cambodia," she said adding that the flame would have proceeded "successfully in Cambodia."
The torch has been dogged by protesters since it was lit in Greece last month, with a Chinese crackdown in Tibet in March igniting demonstrations at many of the torch's previous stops, notably London and Paris.
The latest crackdown has increased attention on China in the run-up to the Games, which begin in the Chinese capital on August 8.
China's close ties to the government of Sudan, blamed for years of strife in Darfur, and its treatment of domestic critics and activists have also been fodder for demonstrators.
Farrow, who is pushing China to help stop the violence in Sudan, will speak in Hong Kong as the torch passes through the city on May 2.
Beijing has recently emerged as Cambodia's biggest donor, giving at least 800 million dollars in aid over the past two years.
China's growing ties with Cambodia have caused unease among some Western countries, which are wary of the Asian giant's increasing economic and military influence in the region.
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