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PHNOM PENH, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Tuesday broke ground to broaden a 40.5 kilometer section of the national road No. 6, which is a major road for tourism and trade activities.
The work began from eastern Phnom Penh's Russei Keo district to Bateay district of Kampong Cham province. The road will be widened from the current 7 meters to 26 meters.
The ground-breaking ceremony were presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Pan Guangxue.
Hun Sen said the project was to keep up with the rapid development of the country's economy and tourism sector.
The road connects Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, to Siem Reap's Angkor, a world heritage site, and Banteay Meanchey province bordering Thailand. "It is quite essential for tourism and trade activities,"he said.
The project is made possible with China's soft loan of 70.25 million U.S. dollars and the Shanghai Construction (Group) General Company will undertake the construction, which is expected to complete in 38 months.
"China is the largest donor to Cambodia's road and bridge construction," the premier said. "Every achievement today has come from the very good ties between Cambodian and Chinese leaders, especially between former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk and former Chinese leaders Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai," he said.
"On behalf of the government of Cambodia and Cambodian people, I'd like to express sincere and heartfelt thanks to the Chinese government and people for the technical and financial supports for Cambodia's social and economic development," he said.
Meanwhile, Pan Guangxue said the government of China considered providing soft loans to Cambodia for broadening the remaining 270 kilometers national road 6 from Kampong Cham province to Siem Reap province.
"China sees this road as the artery of Cambodia's economy," he said.
He added that China would continue assisting Cambodia in its effort to develop the economy with the respect of Cambodia's independence and territorial integrity.
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