Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L) visits Cambodian Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk to express condolences and sympathies for the death of Cambodian King-Father Norodom Sihanouk in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 15, 2012. Norodom Sihanouk died due to illness at the age of 90 early Monday morning in Beijing. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
Xi, on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese government and the people, expressed deep condolence and sincere sympathy to the former queen, King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni, other members of the royal family, the Cambodian government and the people.
"We are greatly shocked and grieved to learn that His Majesty former King Sihanouk died this morning in Beijing," Xi said after a silent tribute in front of a portrait of Sihanouk, who died of illness at the age of 90 early Monday morning.
Xi said Sihanouk, a great leader loved and esteemed by the Cambodian people, devoted his life to national independence and peaceful development of his country.
He spoke highly of Sihanouk as an old friend of the Chinese people, who forged a profound friendship with generations of Chinese leaders and made an indelible contribution to create and cultivate China-Cambodia relations. Xi said Sihanouk would live in the hearts of Chinese and Cambodian people forever.
Xi said he believed that the friendship between the two nations would continue and develop.
Monineath thanked Xi for his visit. She said former King Sihanouk was a loyal, old and good friend of the Chinese people, who pursued a long-term friendly policy towards China and lived in the country for a long period.
She said China was a second home for Sihanouk and her as the Chinese took care of them during their stay. She also thanked those for the treatment given to Sihanouk after his seizure.
Monineath said she believed the Cambodia-China friendship and cooperation would continue to prosper.
Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Li Zhanshu and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi accompanied Xi to visit the former queen.
Born on Oct. 31, 1922, Norodom Sihanouk reigned Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 till his voluntary abdication on Oct. 7, 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni.