Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said here on Monday that the impact of COVID-19 on China's economy is temporary and will not affect China's long-term social and economic development goals.
While the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has caused troubles for many world leaders, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has used the epidemic as a political gambit to bolster his domestic and international image.
China's close alliance with Cambodia has been forged, in large part, with billions of dollars in aid and investment tied to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, which provides developmental assistance around the world to strengthen trade ties and political influence.
The 27th ASEAN – New Zealand Dialogue took place on February 20-21 in Cambodia, focusing on commitments to further deepening bilateral strategic partnership in 2020.
Cambodia said on Saturday that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is fully confident in China's capacity to control and contain the spread of COVID-19.
Cambodia said on Saturday that the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) foreign ministers have vowed to further enhance cooperation towards building a prosperous region.
Though the move is not entirely insignificant, it pales in comparison to the other challenges the government faces and is working to address.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday appeared to shrug off the European Union’s decision last week to suspend tariff-free access for around one-fifth of Cambodia’s exports to its market over rollbacks on democracy and human rights, saying his country will “continue to export” despite facing higher tariffs.
The jobs of many hard-working women in Cambodia are at risk after the EU announced its intention to partially withdraw free access for Cambodian goods to the EU market due to the country’s “serious and systematic violations of human rights”.
Despite the government’s rhetoric, the reality is much more concerning.
Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump.
I would like to convey to the European Union the following message: There are responsible and foresighted Cambodian leaders from all political affiliations who understand that the partial suspension of the EU’s trade privilege scheme known as “Everything But Arms” (EBA) is a blessing in disguise in that it represents a powerful call for reform.
The European Commission's announcement last week of the partial suspension of Cambodia's duty- and quota-free access to European Union (EU) markets deals a blow to both the Hun Sen government and his country's economy given the EU is Cambodia's largest trading partner.
Words of appreciation and admiration have poured in for Cambodia after it allowed the Westerdam cruise ship, which had been stranded at sea for days over COVID-19 fears, to dock at its sea port of Sihanoukville.
The government this week reiterated that the EU was interfering in domestic affairs after the bloc announced a partial suspension of duty-free trade with Cambodia over political and human rights concerns.
While Cambodia is certainly better off than it was in the 1990s, progress has slowed as the premier’s rule has continued.
The entire legal team representing Cambodia’s opposition leader Kem Sokha stormed out of his treason trial on Thursday, saying they were denied the right to speak on his behalf during the proceedings after being presented with volumes of new evidence by prosecutors only a day earlier.
In a dramatic turn of events, Kem Sokha’s defense lawyers walked out of court this morning, alleging irregularities with a piece of evidence and for not being allowed to address their grievances in court.
Kem Sokha’s lawyers walked out of his trial hearing before it finished on Thursday after the judge interrupted them during a heated argument over access to evidence, which ended in the judge postponing the proceedings for two weeks.
Removing tariff-free access will drive Phnom Penh toward Beijing's orbit.