Political turmoil may threaten Cambodia’s hard-won economic achievements

Thank you very much Mr. Weijia for your well-balanced argument between modern political economy and pure win-win one man show strategy of Prime Minister Hun Sen. As said, China has claimed her achievements are through China’s model of political economy, corruption-free state-of-the-arts, and global-oriented approach leadership of President Xi. All these are non-existence in Cambodia PM leadership, which shall pose great risk for China in its global role achievement as articulated by President Xi if China has privately or publicly backed the current moves of Cambodia government.

Op-Ed: Global Times

Political turmoil may threaten Cambodia’s hard-won economic achievements

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/22 22:18:39

Arts Exchange Program between VN, Cambodia and Lao on theme of Military Cooperation. (Photo Courtesy monoroom.com dated October 25, 2017 or http://hrkhnews.com/?p=7419)
Arts Exchange Program between VN, Cambodia and Lao on theme of Military Cooperation. (Photo Courtesy monoroom.com dated October 25, 2017 or http://hrkhnews.com/?p=7419)

A close watch needs to be kept on the tense political situation in Cambodia, which is a popular destination for Chinese investors. The Southeast Asian country has experienced strong economic growth in recent years, but its success may be threatened by possible political turmoil.On Friday, the IMF gave a positive appraisal of Cambodia’s economy, saying it is expected to grow by 6.9 percent this year. Having graduated from a low-income to a lower middle-income country, Cambodia seems confident in transforming itself into an upper middle-income economy by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050. Domestic and foreign observers alike have optimistic views of the nation’s economy.

However, rapid economic growth tells only part of the story; the other part is domestic political uncertainty.

According to the Financial Times, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen warned earlier this year that his country could descend into civil war. Over the past few weeks, tension escalated after Sam Rainsy, the former president of Cambodia’s opposition, was arrested and charged with treason for allegedly conspiring with a foreign power to overthrow the Hun Sen administration.

Political stability is a necessity for a nation to prosper and develop, especially a country like Cambodia, whose economy has traditionally been supported by tourism and garment exports.

Letting the situation in Cambodian deteriorate would scare off foreign tourists and investors and deal a heavy blow to the local economy.

Last week, the US renewed a call for the Hun Sen administration to release the country’s opposition leaders.

Cambodia-US relations are strained, and the possibility of US sanctions against garment imports from Cambodia cannot be ruled out. Criticism from Western countries may cast shadows over Cambodia’s economic future.

Appropriate solutions are needed to avoid a further escalation of tension and even conflict. Economic growth in recent years was a hard-won achievement for Cambodia and the growth trend should not be interrupted by the country’s rising political tension. People should become more aware of the importance of political stability to protect the results of economic development.

As an important economic partner of Cambodia, China will pay close attention to the situation in the Southeast Asian country and willingly provide the necessary help.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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Petition Collection Sent Out To Recipients On The 23rd Of October 2017

Op-Ed: The CEROC

Petition Collection Sent Out To Recipients On The 23rd Of October 2017

petition update signaturesOne million signatures to restore the Paris Peace Agreement for Cambodia during this 26th Anniversary

Attention to:

1. Mr. António Guterres,
Secretary General, United Nations
– Mr. Joko Widodo,
President, Republic of Indonesia (Co-Chair of the 1991 Paris Conference on Cambodia)
– Mr. Emmanuel Macron,
President, The French Republic (Co-Chair of the 1991 Paris Conference on Cambodia)
2. His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia
– Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia
– Kem Sokha, President, Cambodia National Rescue Party
– Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
3. Retno Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Indonesia
4. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France
5. Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia
6. His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
7. Chrystia Freeland, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Canada
8. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister, People’s Republic of China
9. Sushma Swaraj, Ministerof External Affairs, India
10. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan
11. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laos
12. Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Malaysia
13. Alan Peter Cayetano, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Philippines
14. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Singapore
15. Don Pramudwinai, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Thailand
16. Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Russia
17. Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom
18. Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State, United States of America
19. Phạm Bình Minh, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Viet Nam

BACKGROUND OF THIS PETITION:

The October 23, 1991 Comprehensive Cambodian Peace Agreement referred to as the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement consists of:
· The Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia;

· Agreement on the Political Settlement of the Cambodia Conflict;

· Agreement Concerning the Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Inviolability, Neutrality and National Unity of Cambodia

· Declaration on the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Cambodia.

This Paris Peace Agreement provided provisions to promote national reconciliation and to ensure the exercise of the right of self-determination of the Cambodian people through free, fair, and transparent elections. In addition, they provide for a ceasefire and cessation of outside military assistance and for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Cambodia. They also deal with Human Rights protection including the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons and delineate the Mandate of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC).

On its 26th Anniversary, we, the Cambodian people of both domestic and abroad wish to collect one million signatures and send them to the party signatures countries of Paris Peace Agreement-Cambodia. The eighteen (18) countries included the French and the Indonesian Foreign Minister acted as co-Presidents. Also participating in his official capacity was the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Especially, the five permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We, the Cambodian people need to remind them that, Mr. Hun Sen is breaching and violating this Paris Peace Agreement; it is unacceptable! Therefore, we, the Cambodian people needed the party signatures countries more than ever to enforce the Paris Peace Agreement. The Dictatorial politics led by Mr. Hun Sen in Cambodia violated all the provisions in the Paris Peace Agreement. Cambodian people need your immediate intervention. Otherwise, Cambodia and her people will never live in with dignity, grace, and integrity.

VIOLATIONS OF PARIS PEACE AGREEMENT:

We condemn, in the strongest terms, the calculated and systemic crackdowns on Democracy– 1991 Paris Peace Accords, Opposition Parties, Non-governmental organizations, Unions, and Independent Media, ahead of the upcoming Senate election on January 14, 2018 and general parliamentary election on July 29, 2018. These recent political developments are strangling Cambodia’s fledgling democracy.
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