Chinese Donate Supplies to Funcinpec, CPP

The Chinese government agreed to give office supplies to Cambodia’s two biggest political parties just weeks before the na­tion heads to the polls in Cam­bo­dia’s first-ever local elections.

Senior officials in both Fun­cin­pec and the CPP both confirmed Wednesday that the Chinese agreed to hand over thousands of dollars worth of office equipment.

A Chinese delegation led by Si­chuan province official Nie Rong Gui left Cambodia for Malaysia Wed­nesday after a four-day visit during which they met with se­nior CPP President Chea Sim, Fun­cinpec President Prince No­ro­dom Ranariddh and several oth­er high officials from the two parties.

The promises of the gifts were made previously, according to a Funcinpec official, who said the Chi­nese have previously given the party printing machines worth $30,000, but that the new equipment will not arrive until af­ter the commune elections.

“We have a shortage of funds and materials with which to contact our members during the election. We have difficulty communicating with our members from the provinces,” the official said.

Over the next year, the Chi­nese have pledged to provide ra­dio and communications equipment to Fun­cinpec, which will help the party better coordinate its na­tional campaign, the official said.

The CPP also will receive do­nated supplies, but a CPP official who confirmed the gift could not say what would be donated.

The Chinese have been making the donations to help the two parties gear up for the 2003 na­tion­al elections, the Funcinpec official said. “It is small money, but will strengthen the relationship between China and Fun­cin­pec,” he said.

Opposition party leader Sam Rain­sy, whose party received no donations from the Chinese, has long blasted both the CPP and Fun­cin­pec for their political and economic ties to China.

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