Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Monday, August 27, 2018

Former CNRP Chief Sam Rainsy Slams Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen For Holding Political Detainees ‘Hostage’

Cambodia's self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, April 13, 2018.
Cambodia's self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, April 13, 2018. AP photo.

Former CNRP Chief Sam Rainsy Slams Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen For Holding Political Detainees ‘Hostage’

RFA | 24 August 2018

The former chief of Cambodia’s now-dissolved opposition party on Friday accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of using the country’s political detainees as pawns in a bid to silence his critics at home and shield himself from international condemnation over an election widely seen as unfree and unfair.

On Aug. 23, Hun Sen said he is mulling a mass release of political detainees that is likely to include a dozen members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP)—Sam Rainsy’s former party, but that it was contingent upon the opposition putting an end to statements suggesting he is “under pressure” from the international community to do so following the July 29 general election.

The premier also suggested that the prisoners would have to sign statements condemning those who challenge his authority before they could be released.

Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) steamrolled last month’s ballot and secured all 125 parliamentary seats in play, but the victory has been widely dismissed as illegitimate following the dissolution of the CNRP in November and the arrest of its president Kem Sokha two months earlier over an alleged plot to topple the government, and amid a crackdown on the media and NGOs.

In response to Hun Sen’s comments, former CNRP President Sam Rainsy, who is living in self-imposed exile to avoid a host of what are seen as politically motivated convictions, slammed the prime minister for holding the detainees “hostage” in a bid to muzzle him and other critics of his government.

“Everyone in Cambodia, even the king [Norodom Sihamoni], is held hostage by Hun Sen,” he said during a Friday call-in show with RFA’s Khmer Service.

“Now the detainees are being forced to do what Hun Sen wants against their will. They are compelled to bow down to Hun Sen just to secure their release.”

Sam Rainsy said Hun Sen “can never hold me hostage” and vowed to “continue to speak the truth” about how the prime minister is failing Cambodia.

“The truth is that Hun Sen is under such tremendous international pressure that he has to release the detainees — it’s not a coincidence,” he said.

“Hun Sen pretends that he is a good-hearted person who sympathizes with the detainees. He is not. If he were a good-hearted person, he would not have arrested these people in the first place and would have released them long ago.”

Earlier on Friday, Sam Rainsy wrote in a post to his Facebook page that Hun Sen is “at a dead end.”

“The sham election he arranged has been strongly condemned and his new government lacks a mandate,” he said.

“The international community is mounting more pressure on him to restore democracy and he is desperate for legitimacy, so that is why he announced that he will release more detainees.”

The former CNRP chief suggested that even by releasing all political prisoners, Hun Sen will “still fall short” of satisfying international demands, and will have to reinstate the CNRP and allow its members to take part in politics again before pressure subsides.

Recent clemency

The prime minister, who secured another five-year term to add to his 33 years in office after official election results were announced last week, has made a practice of heavy-handed crackdowns on his critics, followed by a relaxation of restrictions after facing international condemnation.

The U.S. last week announced an expansion of visa bans on individuals seen as limiting democracy in the country, as part of a series of “concrete steps” aimed at pressuring Cambodia to “reverse course” that included a decision to withdraw funding for last month’s elections.

The European Union, which was the second-largest trading partner of Cambodia in 2017, also withdrew support ahead of the ballot and is currently reviewing a preferential trade scheme for Cambodian exports based on the country’s election environment.

[Demographic Vietnamization] Memo to UN Security Council from the coalition government of Norodom Sihanok (CGDK president), Son Sann (CGDK prime minister), Khieu Samphan (CGDK vice VP) re Vietnamization of Cambodia, 18 Sept. 1989

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More published articles about the Vietnamization of Cambodia

[Demographic Vietnamization: Military, Elections] ពលរដ្ឋ​ មួយ​ចំនួន​ នៅ​ត្បូងឃ្មុំ ​តវ៉ា ​រឿង​អាជ្ញាធរ​ មូលដ្ឋាន​ មិន ​ចែក​លុយ​ តាម​សន្យា​ ក្រោយ​បោះឆ្នោត

RFA / វិទ្យុ អាស៊ី សេរី | ២៥ សីហា ២០១៨


Gold medalist Jessa Khan of Cambodia pose for photograph during the victory ceremony in the newaza women's - 49 kilogram jujitsu at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)


AP / Khaosod | 26 August 2018

JAKARTA — At 16, Jessa Khan has already won a stack of gold medals at state, regional and international competitions. But these are nothing to match her gold medal in jiu-jitsu at the Asian Games.
She won for Cambodia, thrilling for a young woman who was born in Texas, lives in southern California and was competing for the birthplace of her father.
“I won a lot of gold medals before, but this one was very special,” she said in an interview Sunday with the Associated Press.
Khan said she visited Cambodia for the first time just two weeks ago, intrigued by the chance to compete for her adopted nation in jiu-jitsu, which is on the Asian Games sports program for the first time.
“It means a lot since it’s the first time they are having jiu-jitsu, so I’m glad I was able to win it for Cambodia and — make history,” she said.
Jessa Khan of Cambodia, left, reacts after defeating Mahra Alhinaai of United Arab Emirates, right, during their newaza women’s – 49 kilogram jujitsu final at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

[Demographic Vietnamization] Vietnam’s steel exports rake in 2.53 billion USD in 7 months

Vietnam’s steel exports rose 40.4 percent year on year to 3.41 million tonnes in the first seven months of the year. (Photo:

Vietnam’s steel exports rake in 2.53 billion USD in 7 months

Vietnam Plus | 21 August 2018

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s steel exports rose 40.4 percent year on year to 3.41 million tonnes in the first seven months of the year, raking in 2.53 billion USD, up 56.3 percent.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Cambodia [Vietnamese in Cambodia?!] was the largest importer of Vietnamese steel during the January-July period, accounting for 37 percent of the total steel export volume.

The country’s steel exports to Cambodia increased by 49 percent in volume and 77.9 per cent in value over the same period last year, reaching 717,572 tonnes, equivalent to 462.73 million USD. 

Some 532,779 million tonnes were shipped to the US for 452.81 million USD, increasing by 71.6 percent in volume and 81.7 percent in turnover.

Shipments to Malaysia escalated 88.5 per cent in volume and 108.6 per cent in value to reach 391,607 tonnes, or 266.98 million USD. 

Indonesia splashed out 295.33 million USD purchasing 372,514 tonnes of Vietnamese steel, up 22.3 percent in volume, and 33 percent in value.

However, steel exports declined sharply in the following markets: Switzerland (down 96 percent in turnover), Saudi Arabia (down 63.4 percent in value), and Pakistan (down 45.6 percent in value). 

During the period, steel export price increased by 11.3 percent to reach average 742.8 USD per tonne. Of which, exports to Hong Kong reached the highest rate with 2,995.8 USD per tonne, up 33.4 percent. Some markets also enjoyed good prices such as Switzerland, Turkey, China and Ukraine.

In contrast, exports to Taiwan have the lowest price of 556.7 USD per tonne, a year-on-year decrease of 14 percent.

Although the steel sector has witnessed thriving exports, it is struggling to cope with trade defence lawsuits in the context of growing protectionism. From July 16 to August 9, the sector faced anti-dumping lawsuits in many foreign countries such as Thailand, the EU, Canada, Malaysia, the US, the Eurasian Economic Union, and India.

Particularly, within only a week (July 27 to August 2), the US launched two investigations into the avoidance of paying anti-dumping and anti-subsidy taxes on corrosion-resistant steel and cold rolled steel from Vietnam.

As of the end of June, local steel products were the target of 37 anti-dumping lawsuits among 78 trade remedy lawsuits against Vietnamese exports from the outset of the year.

Chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) Ho Nghia Dung said that improving competitive capacity to expand export markets and understanding of international trade regulations are significant for Vietnamese steel firms to respond to trade defence lawsuits.

The association recommended the state to enhance the use of trade defence tools to protect domestic steel production.-VNA

[Vietnamization: Military, Elections] វៀតណាម ​អបអរ​ លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ក្រោយ ​ព្រះមហាក្សត្រ ​ចាត់តាំង ​ជា​នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី | Vietnam congrulates Hun Sen after King appointed him PM

លោក​នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន (ស្ដាំ) ចាប់​ដៃ​ជាមួយ​អនុរដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​ក្រសួង​ការពារ​ជាតិ នៃ​ប្រទេស​វៀតណាម លោក ង្វៀន ជីវិញ (Nguyen Chivinh) ក្នុង​ពេល​ជួប​ពិភាក្សា​ការងារ​នា​វិមាន​សន្តិភាព រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២១ ខែ​ធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ​២០១៧។
Photo courtesy of SPM Facebook's page
វៀតណាម ​អបអរ​ លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ក្រោយ ​ព្រះមហាក្សត្រ ​ចាត់តាំង ​ជា​នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី

RFA / វិទ្យុ អាស៊ី សេរី | ១៩ សីហា ២០១៨

រដ្ឋាភិបាល​កុម្មុយនិស្ត​វៀតណាម​អបអរសាទរ​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​ព្រះមហាក្សត្រ ចាត់​តាំង​ឲ្យ​ធ្វើជា​នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​បន្ត​ក្នុង​អាណត្តិ​ថ្មី។
មន្ត្រី​នាំ​ពាក្យ​ក្រសួងការបរទេស​វៀតណា​ម អ្នកស្រី ឡេធី ធូហាំង (Le Thi Thu Hang) ថ្លែងប្រាប់​ក្រុម​អ្នក​កាសែត ហើយ​ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​ទីភ្នាក់ងារសារព័ត៌មាន​វៀតណាម (Vietnam News Agency, VNA) ស្រង់​ប្រសាសន៍​ថា ក្នុងនាម​ជា​មិត្ត​ជិតដិត​របស់​កម្ពុជា​វៀតណាម ចូលរួម​អបអរសាទរ​លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​តែងតាំង​ជា​នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​កម្ពុជា ស្របតាម​ព្រះរាជក្រឹត្យ ចុះ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១៧ សីហា របស់​ព្រះមហាក្សត្រ​ព្រះបាទ សីហមុនី ដើម្បី​រៀបចំ​ដឹកនាំ បង្កើត​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ថ្មី​មួយ ដើម្បី​សុំ​ទំនុក​ចិត្ត​ពី​រដ្ឋសភា​ថ្មី។
មន្ត្រី​នាំ​ពាក្យ​ក្រសួងការបរទេស​វៀតណាម​រូប​នេះ ថ្លែង​បន្ត​ថា នេះ​គឺជា​ជំហាន​មួយទៀត នៃ​ដំណើរ​វិវត្ត​នៃ​ការបោះឆ្នោត​នៅ​កម្ពុជា។ អ្នកស្រី​គូស​បញ្ជាក់​ថា វៀតណាម ជឿជាក់​ថា នៅ​ពេល​បង្កើត​រួច រដ្ឋសភា និង​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ថ្មី​របស់​កម្ពុជា នឹង​បន្ត​ដឹកនាំ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ឆ្ពោះ​ទៅ​រក​ការ​រីកចម្រើន និង​ចូលរួម​ចំណែក​ក្នុង​ការ​ថែរក្សា​សន្តិភាព ស្ថិរភាព កិច្ច​សហប្រតិបត្តិការ និង​ការ​អភិវឌ្ឍ ក្នុង​តំបន់​អាស៊ីអាគ្នេយ៍ និង​នៅ​ក្នុង​ពិភពលោក​ទាំងមូល។
ក្រោយ​ព្រឹត្តិការណ៍​បោះឆ្នោត ដែល​គ្មាន​អ្នកសង្កេតការណ៍​ពិតប្រាកដ​របស់​សហគមន៍​អន្តរជាតិ​ចូលរួម ជាពិសេស​សូម្បីតែ​មក​អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក សហភាព​អឺរ៉ុប អូស្ត្រាលី និង​ជប៉ុន ហើយ​ដែល​ការបោះឆ្នោត​ត្រូវ បាន​ក្រុម​ប្រទេស​នោះ ចាត់ទុកជា​ការបោះឆ្នោត​ក្លែងក្លាយ​នោះ មានតែ​ក្រុម​ប្រទេស​ប្លុក​កុម្មុយនិស្ត​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ រួមមាន​ប្រទេស​ចិន រុស្ស៊ី វៀតណាម ឡាវ ជាដើម ដែល​បាន​ចេញ​សេចក្ដីថ្លែងការណ៍​អបអរ​សាទ​លទ្ធផល​នៃ​ការបោះឆ្នោត​នេះ។ បច្ចុប្បន្ន ភាព​ស្របច្បាប់​នៃ​លទ្ធផល​ការបោះឆ្នោត​នេះ កំពុង​ស្ថិត​ក្នុង​ភាព​ស្រពិចស្រពិល ក្រោយ​ក្រុម​ប្រទេស​និយម​ប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ រួមមាន​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក សហភាព​អឺរ៉ុប កាណាដា អូស្ត្រាលី អង់គ្លេស និង​បារាំង​ជាដើម សម្ដែង​ការ​ខកចិត្ត និង​ប្រកាស​ថា ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​នេះ មិន​មាន​ភាព​សេរី មិន​យុត្តិធម៌ និង​មិន​អាច​ជឿ​ទុកចិត្ត​បាន​នោះ​ទេ៕

Vietnamization: PRK, Occupation, Military, Say Phouthong, Bou Thang, Chan Si (Sy)

Vietnamization. Intriguing insider information reporting of relationship between Hun Sen and Say Phouthong. According to Pen Sovan, Hun Sen and Say Phouthang, the only 2 Khmer officials under occupation, accompanied Vietnamese soldiers to his residence to arrest him and deport him that same night to Hanoi for solitary confinement, only released over a decade later by stipulations in the Oct. 1991 Agreements calling for the freedom of the thousands of political prisoners.

[Demographic Vietnamization] Vietnamese wedding with "Khmer classical dance" show យុទ្ធសាស្ត្រយួនលេបខ្មែរ​

វិធីលេប​តាម​រណសិរ្ស​វប្បធម៌​ ខ្មែរ​អាចស្លាប់ឈរ​ភ្នែក​បើក​មើលជាតិ​ខ្លួន​ក្ស័យ​
សិល្បៈ​របាំ​ចម្រៀង​យួនប្ដូរ​ក្រឡៃ​ ដូច​រង់ចាំ​ថ្ងៃ​ខ្មែរ​ក្ស័យ​ក្នុងដៃ​វៀតណាម​។
ប្រឹង​សប្បាយ​ទៅ​ទាន់នៅ​ដង្ហើម​ត្រដរ​ គ្រាពេល​ជាតិក្រ​ស្លឈាម​បែក​ហូរ​រហាម​
ខាង​រណសិរ្ស​សេដ្ឋកិច្ច​យួន​កាង​ចាប់ច្បាម​ ដូច​នគរ​ចាម​សាបសូន្យ​នៅក្នុង​ពោះយួន។
ខាងវិនិយោគ​យួន​យក​ត្រួត​ត្រា​គ្រប់ផ្នែក កាន់ភាគ​ចំណែក​ខាងធំជា​ប្រយោជន៍​ខ្លួន
ផ្នែក​សន្តិសុខ​ខាងទ័ព​យួន​បង្កប់​ពួន​ ចាំតែពេលខ្លួនដល់ថ្ងៃវាវ៉ៃ​លេប​ខ្មែរ​។​
ខាង​ប្រជាសាស្ត្រ​យួន​បាន​បញ្ចូល​ជាតិគេ មិនសល់​ទំនេរ​ពេញ​ដី​ទាំងព្រៃ​ក្រុង​ស្រែ​
ក្រសោប​កាន់កាប់​តាមល្បិច​រូបភាព​បង្វែរ ចូល​សញ្ជាតិ​ខ្មែរ​រៀនសូធ្យ​ខាងរដ្ឋបាល។
យុទ្ធសាស្ត្រ​នេះ​យួនរិះ​គិត​ទុក​ល្អិតល្អន់​ ចាំ​ខ្មែរ​អាសន្ន​នៅគ្រា​នោះវានឹងអាល
មិនចាំ​យូរទៀត​វាឆ្លៀត​ចាប់លេប​ពីក្បាល ចាប់ផ្ដើម​ពីកាល​ឱកាស​ខ្មែរ​ងប់​ភ្លេច​ខ្លួន​។​
ខ្មែរ​វក់សប្បាយ​នឹង​ល្បែង​សព្វសារពើ​ យួនឃើញ​ខ្មែរ​ភ្លើ​វង្វេង​នៅក្នុងល្បិច​យួន
វា​បំពុលសក្ដិ​តំណែងនឹង​ស្រីលក់ខ្លួន ព្រិលភ្នែក​ស្រីយួន​ខ្មែរ​​ឈ្លោះគ្នា​​ធ្លាក់ស៊យស៊ុន។
លែង​ខ្វល់នឹងជាតិនឹងរាស្ត្រទឹកដី​ដូនតា​ ទោះយួនប្រហារក៏ថា​យួនអ្នកមាន​គុណ​
ប្រវត្តិ​ដីខ្មែរ​ហូរហែ​យួនយក​ពីមុន ត្រូវ​ត្រកូល​ហ៊ុន​លក់​បង្ហើយ​ឲ្យយួនចិន។​
អាទិត្យ​ ១៩/៨/២០១៨

[Vietnamization: Elections] Vietnam congratulates Hun Sen on reappointment as Cambodian PM

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen (centre) during his election campaign in Phnom Penh. (Source: AFP / VNA)

Vietnam congratulates Hun Sen on reappointment as Cambodian PM

Vietnam Plus | 19 August 2018

Hanoi (VNA) Vietnam congratulates Samdech Techo Hun Sen on his re-appointment as Prime Minister of Cambodia, Spokeswoman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters on August 18.

“As a close neighbour of Cambodia, Vietnam congratulates Samdech Techo Hun Sen on his appointment as Cambodian Prime Minister in accordance with a royal ordinance issued on August 17 by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni to take a mission of establishing a new Govenrment for the new-tenure National Assembly’s approval.”

“This is a significant stride in the election progress of Cambodia,” the spokeswoman said.

“Vietnam believes that once established, the new National Assembly and Government of Cambodia will continue leading the country to thrive and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Southeast Asian region and the world,” Hang stressed.

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni on August 17 designated Samdech Techo Hun Sen as the Prime Minister for another five-year term after his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won a sweeping victory in the general election on July 29.

The decision was made following a request from the CPP, which won all 125 parliamentary seats in the election.-VNA

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Pseng-Pseng: Funny News From 2018 Elections


Funny News From 2018 Elections

“… its [Hun Sen’s elections] legitimacy is arguably no lesser than the other [Malaysian recent elections], because … it was a multi-party election. And it is not a sure thing that had the CNRP been allowed to participate, it would have won.”

Davan Long, 9 August 2018, Bangkok Post Opinion

“It took Malaysians over 60 years to change a government. If Cambodia were to follow their example, it still has 30 more years to go…” [sic]

Davan Long, 9 August 2018, Bangkok Post Opinion

“The general picture before and after the election, and the stance of the GDP, is that the CNRP effectively handed the National Assembly’s full 125 seats to the CPP when it urged people to boycott the elections or spoil their ballot.”

Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) President Yang Saing Koma, 2 August 2018, The Phnom Penh Post

« អ្នកឯងហ៊ានចោទថា ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋត្រូវគេបំប៉ោង ត្រូវគេបំភិតបំភ័យ ត្រូវគេស្អីអ៊ីចេះអ៊ីចុះ។ ហ៊ានស្បថឬ អត់បើហ៊ាន ឥឡូវបង្ហោះតាមហ្វេសប៊ុកមក។ ឥឡូវ ខ្ញុំសូមស្បថមុន ស្បថឲ្យងាប់គ្រប់ទម្រង់ ឲ្យតែយមរាជចង់ ឲ្យខ្ញុំងាប់ឡានបុកក៏ដោយ ធ្លាក់កប៉ាល់ហោះក៏ដោយ ខ្សែភ្លើងឆក់ក៏ដោយ រន្ទះបាញ់ក៏ដោយ ស្អីក៏ដោយ ប្រភេទស្អីក៏ដោយ ឲ្យតែងាប់ ។ អ្នកឯងហ៊ានទេរុញអ្នកឯងឲ្យដល់ ជញ្ជាំងតែម្ដង។ »

នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុនសែន ថ្ងៃទី​៧ ខែ​សីហា ឆ្នាំ​២០១៨ ភ្នំពេញប៉ុស្តិ៍

“But I have noted some pressure and fear [in the elections] too.”

Centre for Policy Studies Director Chan Sophal, 1 August 2018, Campro

Besides news and fake news, there is funny news. A Campro member defines it as the one that is hilarious if untrue.

The 2018 elections bring out many pieces of funny news. Davan Long claims twenty parties participating in the July elections are numerous enough for an election legitimacy, hence for Hun Sen’s new government. It is irrelevant that nineteen of them are feeble and must depend on one gigantic party to run the elections with pre-arranged outcomes.

Long also argues a forced absence of the only formidable party from competing the elections does not affect the legitimacy – because it is uncertain that it can win. Long decides on behalf of voters which party can or cannot win before allowing them to partake. Thus, he must believe these nineteen feeble parties can win. Who is he kidding, besides himself?

Another piece of funny news from Long is, as it takes 60 years for Malaysia to change a government, Cambodia will need another 30 years to do likewise. What Long ignores, or does not know, is that for the past 61 years, Malaysia has had seven prime ministers presiding over at least seven governments. Nevertheless, Cambodia can still match this Malaysian record if it is to have six different premiers in the next three decades.

Cambodia's Troubling Tilt Toward China

Chinese President Xi Jinping smiles next to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh, October 2016. 

Cambodia's Troubling Tilt Toward China

And What It Means for Washington's Indo-Pacific Strategy

Foreign Affairs | August 2018

When Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed a landslide victory in the country’s July 29 elections, most international observers quickly denounced the results as rigged. Given that the election has helped consolidate Hun Sen’s 33-year, increasingly authoritarian hold on power, these accusations are troubling. Even more troubling, however, may be Hun Sen’s recent tilt toward China and the increasing local and regional benefits Beijing is receiving from its relationship with Cambodia.

For myriad reasons, Washington has long considered Cambodia a strategic lost cause. Yet the country’s Chinese turn should serve as a warning of what China’s growing economic presence, especially in authoritarian countries, will mean for Southeast Asia and Eurasia more broadly. To respond effectively, the United States and its allies need to look at Cambodia with fresh eyes as both a national security challenge and opportunity. Although Hun Sen has tightened his grip on the country and pushed it closer to Beijing, there actually exists widespread, if quiet, anger among ordinary citizens at their government’s subservience to China.


Over the past two decades [around 1998, after Hun Sen consolidated power in the 1997 coup], China has worked diligently to cultivate ties to Cambodia’s strongman. Beijing has continued to back Hun Sen as he has dissolved Cambodia’s main opposition party, thrown its leader in jail, manipulated social media to boost his perceived popularity, and presided over the hollowing out of the country’s two largest independent newspapers. When a crackdown on political opposition started last November, China came to the government’s defense. After meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in late March, Hun Sen wrote on his Facebook page that “Chinese leaders would like to support and wish Samdech Techo [Hun Sen] to win the election and lead Cambodia’s destiny to make it become more developed in the future.” And in the run-up to July’s elections, China’s ambassador to Cambodia attended a ruling party election rally in Phnom Penh.

This support has taken more tangible forms as well. Last December, China pledged to give Cambodia’s National Election Campaign $20 million for polling booths, computers, and other equipment. Visiting Cambodia in June, China’s defense minister announced a military aid package of $100 million and claimed that Cambodia was a “loyal friend.” Beijing has worked hard to cultivate such loyalty with its southern neighbor. To help Hun Sen offset domestic and international criticism of his increasingly authoritarian turn, China has increased its aid and investment, announcing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of concessional loans, supporting infrastructure projects, and upping the number of Chinese tourists visiting Cambodia over the last year by over 40 percent. China is now Cambodia’s largest aid donor.
In exchange for Beijing’s unquestioning support, Cambodia under Hun Sen has increasingly become a vassal state of China and helped expand Beijing’s local and regional ambitions. The Cambodian government has displaced thousands of Cambodian families for Chinese-funded projects. Most egregiously, in a deal that violated Cambodian national laws, the government secretly ceded more than 20 percent of Cambodia’s coastline to a Chinese-owned company. Hun Sen has dutifully responded to Beijing’s calls to do more to protect Chinese investments, attacking those who question Cambodia’s growing economic reliance on its northern neighbor. He has also defended China’s development projects abroad, brushing aside criticism that such projects have placed unsustainable debt burdens on recipient countries, caused lasting environmental damage, and displaced local workers.

The U.S. Is Expanding Cambodia Visa Bans Over Last Month's 'Flawed' Election

Supporters take pictures with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen at the inauguration of a new boat terminal in Phnom Penh on Aug. 1, 2018.
Supporters take pictures with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen at the inauguration of a new boat terminal in Phnom Penh on Aug. 1, 2018. Pring Samrang—Reuters

The U.S. Is Expanding Cambodia Visa Bans Over Last Month's 'Flawed' Election

TIME | 16 August 2018
The U.S. announced new visa restrictions against Cambodian officials responsible for “anti-democratic” actions taken in the run-up to the country’s election last month, which was widely condemned by rights groups and international observers as flawed and illegitimate.
The State Department said Wednesday that it was extending a previous round of travel bans passed against an undisclosed number of Cambodia officials in December. The sanctions came amid a crackdown on dissent that disbanded the country’s chief opposition party and left domestic media and independent institutions in tatters ahead of the July 29 national election. In a statement, the White House said the poll was “neither free nor fair and failed to represent the will of the Cambodian people.”
The new visa restrictions will pick out individuals “both within and outside the Cambodian government” responsible for “the most notable anti-democratic actions taken in the run-up to the flawed July 29 election,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

[Vietnamization: Military, Rubber] Cambodia exports over 100,500 tonnes of rubber in 7 months

Workers at Socfin Cambodia rubber plantation in Mondulkiri (Source: phnompenhpost)

Cambodia exports over 100,500 tonnes of rubber in 7 months [who owns these rubber companies?!]

Vietnam Plus | 19 August 2018

Hanoi (VNA) - Cambodia exported 100,534 tonnes of rubber in the first seven months of 2018, up 20 percent over the same period last year, the General Directorate of Rubber (GDR) reported on August 18.

The country earned gross revenue of 142 million USD from rubber exports during the January-July period, down 1.5 percent over the same period last year, the GDR said.

A tonne of rubber averagely cost 1,412 USD in the first seven months of 2018, about 305 USD lower than that of the first seven months of 2017.

Cambodia mainly exported the product to Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and China.

According to the GDR’s report, the country has 436,299 hectares of rubber plantations in which 173,017 hectares are old enough to be harvested. 

Meanwhile, statistics released by the Secretariat of the One Window Service for Rice Export showed that Cambodia shipped 297,080 tonnes of rice abroad in the first seven months of 2018, a year on year fall of 6.3 percent.

However, the country’s rice exports are forecast to see more positive signals in the remaining months of the year as its main rice harvest will fall in September.-VNA

[Vietnamization: Military] PM Hun Sen: Cambodia treasures ties with Vietnam

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (Source: VNA)

PM Hun Sen: Cambodia treasures ties with Vietnam

Vietnam Plus | 10 August 2018

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on August 9 sent a letter to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, thanking him for his congratulations on Cambodia’s successful organisation of the general election on July 29. 

In his letter, PM Hun Sen affirmed that Cambodia pays due attention to its long-term relationship with Vietnam.

He noted that the continuous development of cooperation in all fields between the two countries has demonstrated the fine neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long-term sustainability.

The encouraging development of bilateral collaboration has benefited both sides, helped promote peace in the two countries, and contributed to stability and prosperity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to which Vietnam and Cambodia are members, PM Hun Sen said. 

The Cambodian leader expressed his wish to meet PM Phuc at the 27th World Economic Forum on ASEAN slated for September in Hanoi. 

The sixth general election of Cambodia on July 29 drew 20 political parties vying for 125 seats in the parliament. According to the National Election Committee, the election was a success with 82.89 percent of those with voting rights going to the polls, much higher than the turnout rate of 69.61 percent in the fifth election in 2013.

The committee is scheduled to announce the preliminary results of the election on August 11 and the official results on August 15 if no proper complaints are made.–VNA