King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni arrived in Beijing Wednesday afternoon for a five-day state visit to China at the invitation of President Hu Jintao.
It is King Sihamoni's first state visit abroad since he ascended the throne in October last year after the abdication of his 82-year-old father Norodom Sihanouk, and it is also his first state visit to China in his capacity as a king.
"King's visit is very important to Cambodia because China is Cambodia's old and true friend and China is playing an important role in the region and the world," National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh told reporters at the Phnom Penh International Airport.
The prince said he believes the King's visit will surely further strengthen the traditional and friendly relationship between the two countries.
Besides his cancer-stricken father, who will return to Beijing for further medical treatment with his wife, former queen Monineath, King Sihamoni is being accompanied by a more than 50- member delegation including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong, and other senior government officials and members of the royal family.
Hu Qianwen, Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, told Xinhua earlier that both the Chinese and Cambodian governments attach great importance to the visit of King Sihamoni.
During his visit, King Sihamoni will hold official talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and meet with other Chinese senior leaders and tour Tianjin, Ambassador Hu said.