For the next 365 days, every move Cambodia, especially Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, makes or takes will be scrutinised by strategists and political pundits around the world. Phnom Penh will be the new fulcrum in the post-pandemic era to which global leaders can converge and discuss their future, which could further intensify cooperation or tension. After nearly four decades of continuous power, Hun Sen’s brinkmanship is well known and most of all, he knows exactly what he wants to say and do. Uniquely, none of the regional leaders knows the region’s pulse and global politics as well as Hun Sen.
At last week’s Asean summit, he minced no words saying that the absence of Myanmar was the result of its own doing. “It is not because of Asean, but because of Myanmar,” he reiterated. His government will set up a special task force to tackle the Myanmar crisis. In addition, given his longstanding experience in dealing with challenges related to peace and conflict, he will use all available tools, both quiet and back door diplomacy, to share lessons and experiences to end the quagmire.