Cambodia’s Hun Sen defends succession plan, denies China ‘debt trap’

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday hit back at criticism of his plans to pass power directly to his eldest son, Hun Manet, while also rejecting suggestions that the country is overly dependent on China.

The 69-year-old leader, who has been in power for 37 years, announced in December his intention for Manet to take the reins, ending speculation that the 44-year-old army chief was being groomed for the role.

However, the timing of the planned handover remains uncertain. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party has selected Hun Sen as its candidate for the 2023 national election. It has endorsed Manet as its next prime ministerial candidate when his father decides to relinquish power.

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