When China’s Cambodia connections come into play

Whatever Hun Sen’s motivations for his closeness to China, that relationship assumes even greater importance this year with Cambodia assuming the role of Asean chair

Tan Hui Yee

Tan Hui Yee

The Straits Times


Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen arriving in Naypyidaw on Jan 7, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

January 19, 2022

BANGKOK – In September last year, Beijing handed over to Phnom Penh a stunning US$150 million (S$202 million) sports stadium it had fully underwritten. In the presence of visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, long-time Cambodian Premier Hun Sen reiterated his by-now famous phrase: “If I do not rely on China, who should I rely on?”

He said then: “This is the real political trust that never falters between the two parties, despite pressure from this person, from that person.

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