A Blend of “Hard” and “Soft” Assistance: China’s Aid to Cambodia

  • Taidong Zhou


China’s economic aid to Cambodia began in 1956. Over six decades, China has become Cambodia’s largest donor or, in the terms of Chinese officials, provider of South–South cooperation (SSC). On the one hand, China has offered considerable infrastructure and civil facilities and has made great contributions to Cambodian economic and social development. On the other hand, China’s aid programs have also attached great importance to skills development and cultural conservation in Cambodia. The Restoration of Angkor relics project is one such case. China’s aid to Cambodia features a blend of “hard” and “soft” approaches and has followed such SSC principles as equality, mutual benefit, respect of sovereignty, having no strings attached, and being demand-driven. Through this approach, China’s aid to Cambodia has been highly recognized by the people in both countries and in the international community. It has achieved political and social gains and provided new momentum to the development of China–Cambodia bilateral relations.


Cambodia China State Administration Of Cultural Heritage (SACH) Cambodian Government United Nations Educational, Scientific And Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Association Of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 
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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taidong Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for International Knowledge on Development, Development Research Centre of the State CouncilBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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