After allowing a stranded cruise ship to dock in Cambodia last Thursday, Prime Minister Hun Sen greeted disembarking passengers with warm handshakes and red roses.
It looked like a savvy photo op by the wily authoritarian, who instantly pleased both his closest ally, China, and his most powerful critic, the United States. Several countries had denied entry to the Holland America Line ship, the Westerdam, because of fears that passengers or crew could be carrying the novel coronavirus, although company officials said no one on board was infected.
The risks of the Cambodian leader’s gesture became apparent after an 83-year-old American passenger tested positive for the virus in Malaysia after she and hundreds of others left Cambodia en route to their home countries.
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