CPP Backs Up Prime Minister on Sea Stance

Days after Prime Minister Hun Sen hit back at claims that Cambodia continues to do China’s bidding in the diplomatic arena, the ruling CPP weighed in on Wednesday with a statement insisting that Phnom Penh had been crucial in maintaining “harmony” amid rising tensions in the South China Sea.

In a speech on Monday, Mr. Hun Sen announced that Cambodia would not support any decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in a case brought by the Phil­ip­pines against China, which has escalated island-building in disputed waters.

He also rejected claims that Cambodia had scuttled statements critical of China’s activity in the South China Sea during two recent Asean summits.

“The CPP rejects the unjust accusation that Cambodia has spoiled Asean’s joint statement on the South China Sea issue, both in [meetings] in Kunming recently and in Phnom Penh in 2012,” the ruling party’s statement said.

“Instead, Cambodia has played a good role in facilitating discussion on the South China Sea issue to maintain solidarity and harmony in Asean-China relations.”

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