Cambodia’s Hun Sen: ‘If I don’t rely on China, who will I rely on?’

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has defended his close relationship with China, pointing to Beijing’s large injections of financial support to his small nation.

China is Cambodia’s key political patron and largest source of development assistance, having helped funnel billions of dollars for infrastructure projects. This has fueled criticism that Phnom Penh has become over-reliant on, and a proxy for, Beijing. But Hun Sen, speaking remotely to Nikkei’s Future of Asia conference on Thursday, called that criticism “unjust.”

“If I don’t rely on China, who will I rely on? If I don’t ask China, who am I to ask?” Hun Sen said to the forum, held in Tokyo and online through Friday.

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