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South China Morning Post


Asean postpones foreign ministers’ meeting amid divide over Myanmar’s military rulers

Cambodia’s chairmanship of the Southeast Asian bloc is off to a rocky start as differences deepen over how to engage the junta in post-coup Myanmar. Phnom Penh puts reschedule of Siem Reap retreat down to clashing appointments – observers say ministers are protesting at Cambodia’s invite to Wunna Maung Lwin.

Cambodia’s Hun Sen accused of undermining Asean with ‘cowboy diplomacy’ on Myanmar trip

Visit by the Cambodian strongman to the crisis-hit nation undercuts efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to pressure coup leader Min Aung Hlaing. Cynics question whether Hun Sen is an ‘honest broker’, given his own crackdown on political opponents and dependence on Beijing. Others doubt his leverage.

Cambodian police crack down on casino workers after lay-off negotiations with Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp...

More than two dozen current and former employees of NagaWorld have been detained amid a strike protesting against mass lay-offs.

China’s appetite for Cambodian mangoes grows amid surge in demand for imported ‘premium’ fruit

Cambodian mangoes were once labelled ‘Made in Vietnam’ before being exported to China. Farmers are banking on the China-Cambodia FTA to change this.

Cambodia’s ruling party endorses Hun Sen’s son Hun Manet as ‘prime minister candidate in...

Hun Sen has been in power for 36 years and earlier this month said he would support his son as his successor, but did not say when he would retire.

US can criticise Cambodia all it wants, but don’t expect Phnom Penh’s help

One minute Washington is imposing an arms embargo, the next it wants Phnom Penh’s help on Myanmar – but the US cannot have it both ways. With China’s backing, Cambodia has little incentive to moderate its behaviour and any leverage the US has will inevitably decline as time goes by.

US envoy in Cambodia says ‘concerned’ about possible Chinese military facility at Ream naval...

‘We are concerned by the possibility of a PRC military facility,’ State Department envoy Derek Chollet said, referring to China by its official name. His visit to Phnom Penh came days after the United States ordered an arms embargo on Cambodia, citing deepening Chinese military influence, amid other factors.

US imposes arms embargo on Cambodia over Chinese military influence

Human rights abuses and corruption were also cited as reasons for the restrictions. Washington and Beijing are jostling for position in Southeast Asia, where Cambodia has become one of China’s most important allies.

As US criticises, Cambodia veers closer to ‘ironclad brother’ China

Sanctions against Cambodian officials and warnings not to invest in the country are more likely to be met with intransigence than policy changes, observers say.

US sanctions Cambodian officials over alleged corruption at Ream Naval Base

Two Cambodian officials ‘likely conspired to inflate the cost of facilities at [the base] and personally benefit from the proceeds’, says US Treasury Department. The US Deputy Secretary of State raised ‘serious concerns’ during a June trip to the country about a Chinese military presence and construction at the Ream base.

US raises concerns over Chinese construction at Cambodian naval base

Phnom Penh spokesman denies it is a facility for China’s military after American embassy calls for transparency. It comes after a CSIS report says satellite images show three new buildings have gone up and a road is being built.

Finding Covid-19 cases is new job for dogs in Cambodian landmine detection programme

The Cambodian Mine Action Centre has been retraining dogs to sniff out the Covid-19 virus.

Bat viruses being studied in Cambodia to gain new coronavirus pandemic insights

Bat researchers in Cambodia are on a mission to help track the origins of the pandemic by collecting samples from horseshoe bats in the country’s northern regions near Laos.

Emphasis will be on eco-tourism when Cambodia reopens to visitors, as operators bet on...

A US$54 million World Bank initiative is helping develop eco-tourism sites, improve access and train local communities to handle visitors.

China and Cambodia gun for ‘harder than steel’ ties to fend off foreign forces

China delivers its neighbour pandemic aid and the handover of a new stadium as well as promises to buy more Cambodian agricultural goods. Wang Yi tells Hun Sen China hopes to conclude negotiations of the South China Sea code of conduct with Asean during Cambodia‘s rotating presidency next year.

A new Thai temple bears a likeness to Angkor Wat, and Cambodian internet users...

Pictures of a structure under scaffolding in Thailand were posted online, and commentators in Cambodia were quick to condemn its likeness to their pride and joy. Cultural and political tensions between the two countries have long been complicated when it comes to temples and claims over their sovereignty.

Chinese foreign minister on fresh mission to Southeast Asia and South Korea

China’s foreign minister will head to Vietnam on Friday for the start of a weeklong trip to Southeast Asia and South Korea, as both Beijing and Washington court key Asia-Pacific partners.

Asean formalises Mekong involvement with water security dialogue, as China’s dams come under scrutiny

The inaugural meeting between the bloc and the Mekong River Commission has been hailed as a means of boosting protection of the vital waterway. Asean has not previously discussed issues relating to the river at the regional level, but its fluctuating water levels have put upstream Chinese dams in the spotlight.

Are cosier China-Cambodia ties a sign Beijing’s plan to set up military bases overseas...

Experts say China has a strategic interest in having more such bases worldwide, not just to project military power but also to safeguard its global interests. But while Beijing may be exploring this route in response to US-led efforts to counter its influence, the path to a network of outposts abroad is hardly straightforward.

Last living Khmer Rouge leader denies backing genocide during appeal hearing in Cambodia

Khieu Samphan, 90, was the former head of state for the Khmer Rouge regime.