Asia

China's leader visits ally Cambodia to cement strong ties

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping waves from a plane on his arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Xi is on a state visit to strengthen the relationships between the two countries and to witness the agreements  to be signed. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping waves from a plane on his arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Xi is on a state visit to strengthen the relationships between the two countries and to witness the agreements to be signed. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, left, shakes hands with  Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, before a meeting at the Peace Palace, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Xi is on a state visit to strengthen the relationships between the two countries and to witness the agreements to be signed. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, before a meeting at the Peace Palace, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Xi is on a state visit to strengthen the relationships between the two countries and to witness the agreements to be signed. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, right, shakes hands with  Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Xi is on a state visit to strengthen the relationships between the two countries and to witness the agreements to be signed. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, right, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Xi is on a state visit to strengthen the relationships between the two countries and to witness the agreements to be signed. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun a two-day state visit to strong ally Cambodia, during which he will strengthen the already firm relationship and witness the signing of nearly 30 agreements.

It is Xi's first trip to the impoverished Southeast Asian nation since he became head of state. He is due to meet with King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Hun Sen said that at least 28 cooperative agreements, mainly covering the economy, investments, agriculture and infrastructure, are set to be signed during Xi's visit.

China is Cambodia's key ally and economic partner, providing millions of dollars in aid and investment over the past decade. In return, Cambodia supports China in international forums, including in Beijing's ongoing dispute with other Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea.