In tirade, Hun Sen calls on Cambodian military to ‘destroy’ opponents threatening government

Op-Ed: Japanese Time AFP-JI, JAN 25, 2019

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen salutes accompanied by his son, Commander of Cambodian Infantry Army Lt. Gern. Hun Manet (right) during an inspection of troops at a ceremony marking the 20th anniversay of the formation of Cambodian Infantry Army in Phnom Penh on Thursday. Hun Sen issued an ominous vow to “destroy” anyone threatening his government, telling soldiers they may kill a few people in order to “save millions.” | AFP-JIJI

PHNOM PENH – Cambodia’s strongman leader Hun Sen on Thursday called on his country’s military to “destroy” opponents if the government comes under threat, in a tirade in which he described himself as the “the one who steers the wheel” of the army.

The 66-year-old premier has in recent weeks turned up the rhetoric against the now-dissolved opposition party, the European Union and other critics of his government.

Since his ruling party swept a July election widely considered a sham, the EU has warned it may withdraw its Everything But Arms scheme, which allows Cambodia’s lucrative garment sector duty-free access to its massive market.

In the wake of the move, Hun Sen, a five-star general despite his position as the country’s civilian leader, has been even more outspoken than usual.

“Some people say Hun Sen is consolidating power … that is very correct,” he said in a speech to soldiers marking the 20th anniversary of the infantry — which is headed by his son, Hun Manet.

Hun Sen urged the army to “destroy … revolutions that attempt to topple the legitimate government,” adding he is “not afraid to issue an order” if faced with threats.

“Better to see the death of four or five people rather than the death of tens of thousands and millions,” he said, referring to the lives lost during the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge regime, which left a quarter of the population dead.

He also called on the lines of soldiers in front of him to purge their ranks of any troops who oppose the government, saying “they must be destroyed.”

Continue reading “In tirade, Hun Sen calls on Cambodian military to ‘destroy’ opponents threatening government”
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Hun Sen takes China to neutralize EBA but 40 private sectors in Cambodia pleas

In his facebook page, Hun Sen has appeared fragile walking and standing to greet China’s private sectors and official top leaders in Peking during his 4 days urgent visit (January 20-24, 2019) after EU announced to tax Cambodia rice export in 3 years beginning this January 2019 in which Cambodia enjoyed its free tax previous years. Cambodia could loss 40 millions dollar per year from this taxing. While Hun Sen is departing for China, the regular Cabinet meetings was cancelled with order to send only security documents to his office while Phnom Penh city was seen by tanks, military armours, and his personal body guard unit mobilizing in an excuse to prepare a drill. Spectators convinced that by ranking and bureaucratic regulation, whenever Hun Sen is absent, the next person is Sar Kheng who is able to conduct regular business of the governance but the Cabinet’s order is totally opposite.

Frequent updating in his personal facebook page with “likes” hike up over 10 millions is to describe his successes in 600 millions loan and buying rice 40,000 tones, Chinese FDI investments, and increasing importing products from Cambodia etc., while the mainstream China’s news, contradictory, confirming the Xi’s intention to strengthening Cambodia’s consent to broaden Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and shared future strategic partnership. Note that Cambodia delegates have failed to inspire China to import rice from Cambodia as China has already promised to import Thailand’s trillion tones of rice to feed its people.

In Cambodia, 40 private sectors wrote letter to EU to express their concerns on the economic crisis if EU withdraws EBA from Cambodia. And the ASIA-EU Ministerial Meeting delegated by Cambodia foreign minister Prak Sokhonn met negative responses from both Didier Reynders and Cecilia Malstrom by emphasizing restoring back democracy, rule of law, and human rights respect in Cambodia if EBA’s withdrawal scheme should be halted.

“[I was] in a bilateral interview [conversation] with my Cambodian counterpart in which I stressed the importance of restoring the rule of law and democracy in the country, which would deepen relations with the European Union,” 
Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders wrote.
“We discussed the EBA agreement and the possibility of a withdrawal of the tariff preferences. [We] reiterated our concerns on democracy, human rights and [the] rule of law. The EU continues to keep the path of dialogue open,”
EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom wrote.

Cambodia Faces Next Trade-Sanctions Move by the European Union

Op-Ed: Bloomberg

By Jonathan Stearns January 22, 2019, 8:59 AM PST Updated on January 22, 2019, 3:00 PM PST

  •  EU Commission seeks support from national capitals by Jan. 29
  •  Any decision to suspend tariff benefits still a year away

The European Union moved closer to imposing trade sanctions against Cambodia as a result of alleged human-rights violations in the country.

The European Commission in Brussels has asked EU national governments to give the green light by Jan. 29 for suspending a policy that lets Cambodia export all goods except weapons duty-free and quota-free to the bloc, according to two officials familiar with the matter. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations are private.

Any go-ahead from EU national capitals would still leave a decision by the commission, the bloc’s executive arm, 12 months away. At stake is Cambodia’s place in the EU’s “Everything But Arms” initiative, the most generous part of the bloc’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences for poor countries around the world.

The EU’s Tariff Threats Against Asia’s Autocrats Risk Backfiring

The EU is trying to prod changes in the political behavior of strongman Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen while being wary of damaging the country’s economy, where a $5 billion garment industry employs 750,000 people and is the biggest exporter.

Hun Sen, who extended his 33-year rule last July when his party won a boycotted election, has so far struck a defiant tone with the European side.

The latest internal EU preparations to withdraw commercial benefits for Cambodia follow a Jan. 21 meeting between European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn. The Everything But Arms — or EBA — accord featured in the talks.

“We discussed the EBA agreement and the possibility of a withdrawal of the tariff preferences,” Malmstrom said in a Twitter post after the meeting in the Belgian capital. “Reiterated our concerns on democracy, human rights and rule of law. The EU continues to keep the path of dialog open.”

The EU debate over revoking general trade benefits for Cambodia is separate from a decision by the bloc last week to impose tariffs on Cambodian rice for three years as a result of a surge in imports deemed to have hurt European rice producers.

— With assistance by Nikos Chrysoloras

Greater Sino-Cambodian effort sought for Belt, Road

Op-Ed: China Daily

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-22 01:28

President Xi Jinping meets with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the  Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Monday. Xi said bilateral relations have developed at a high level. PANG XINGLEI / XINHUA

China and Cambodia should speed up connecting the Belt and Road Initiative with Cambodia’s development strategy, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

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Hun Sen’s populism hangs by a thread

Cambodian leader’s election vow of higher minimum wages and seniority payments for garment workers has put new economic pressure on an industry that was already coming undone

ជាសរុប នយោបាយប្រជាភិថុតិរបស់របបហ៊ុន-សែនចំពោះកម្មករ-កម្មការិនីរោងចក្រកាត់ដេរបានកំពុងមានវិបាកកម្មត្រឡប់មករកខ្លួនវិញ ក្នុងខណៈការរំលាយនិងរំលោភលើសិទ្ធិនយោបាយរបស់គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិក៏ជាចំណាប់ខ្មាំងចងខ្លួនលោកហ៊ុន-សែនភ្ជាប់ទៅនឹងសសរកន្លោងផងដែរ។ លោកហ៊ុន-សែនរៀបចំជួបកម្មកររាប់មុឺននាក់តាមរោងចក្រដោយតម្រូវអោយរោងចក្របង់ថ្លៃម៉ោងដែលគេមកចូលរួមស្តាប់លោក ហើយលោកហ៊ុន-សែនមានស្រោមសំបុត្រលុយអោយពួកគេពីដៃផ្ទាល់ផងដែរ។ មិនតែប៉ុណ្ណោះ មានការតំឡើងប្រាក់ខែអតិបរមាពី១៧០ដុល្លាមួយខែកាលពីឆ្នាំមុនមក១៨២ដុល្លាក្នុងមួយខែដើមឆ្នាំនេះ បង្កើតច្បាប់បង់ប្រាក់អតីតភាព(severance pay)ដល់កម្មករបើមានការបណ្តេញពីការងារ បង់ប្រាក់បុព្វលាភនិងប្រាក់បំណាច់(seniority bonuses and indemnities) ព្រមទាំងផលប្រយោជន៌(benefits)ផ្សេងទៀត ដោយបើកប្រាក់ខែដូរពីបួនអាទិត្យ(មួយខែ)ម្តងទៅជាពីរអាទិត្យម្តង។ ជាការសំគាល់ រោងចក្រមួយចំនួនបានបិទទ្វារ អត្រានាំចេញឆ្នាំ២០១៨មានត្រឹម៤ភាគរយ ចុះមកពី១៩ភាគរយ ហើយអុឺរ៉ុបបានចាប់ផ្តើមយកពន្ធអង្ករកម្ពុជា និងរៀបចំនីតិវិធីដកEBA។

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) weaves as his wife Bun Rany (top R) looks on during an opening ceremony for the Khmer New Year at Bayon temple at the Angkor complex in Siem Reap province on April 13, 2018. Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Op-Ed: Asia Time

That approach bore fruit, despite widespread and persistent criticism of official corruption and limited labor rights. Cambodia’s embrace of free market policies catapulted the economy in the 2000s, growth rates that underwrote the CPP’s staying power.


Cambodia’s largest export industr
y is facing its biggest crisis, with garment workers and security

But, according to Chanco, the “broad thrust of the [the CPP’s] policies have been populist – and in many cases, interventionist – in nature” since the 2013 general election, when it was nearly beaten by the opposition CNRP. At the time, the opposition had campaigned on a manifesto of higher wages and other populist measures.

The minimum wage of garment workers remained largely static up until 2013, but the CPP has “co-opted the CNRP’s minimum wage agenda over the last five years,” says Chanco.

In a speech before more than 4,000 workers on Sunday, August 20, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen announced that from January 2018, the company owners are to take responsibility to pay 100% of healthcare services, and from 2019 onward, workers will receive retirement benefits as civil servants. Samdech Techo HUN SEN says the owners’ responsibility for paying healthcare costs to the workers would save the healthcare costs at least 8,000 to 12,000 riel, with calling for and encouraging workers to work better. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Sunday announced before 4,270 workers at the center that by 2018, the minimum wage of garment and footwear workers in Cambodia will not be less than $ 160.

The CPP arguably felt the need to expand even further its populist pledges after it dissolved the CNRP in November 2017 and in the run-up to last July’s general election, which it won overwhelmingly in a poll many observers viewed as a sham.

As the CPP promised on the hustings, the monthly minimum wage for garment factory workers rose on January 1 to US$182, up from $170 last year. That marks a near 300% increase from the $61 minimum wage earned by workers in 2012.

One independent estimate suggests that the latest minimum wage hike will cost garment sector employers an additional $90 million in wages and bonuses this year.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) poses for a picture during a ceremony at a compound of factories in Phnom Penh on September 6, 2017. Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Hun Sen poses for a picture during a ceremony at a compound of factories in Phnom Penh on September 6, 2017. Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Added to this, thanks to CPP promises made last year, employers must now pay workers fortnightly, not monthly, a logistical headache which will also raise administrative and financial costs.

“It’s absolutely the case that Cambodia’s minimum wage has increased too fast over the past few years,” says Chanco.

He says wages have been hiked while labor productivity has remained stagnant and in places even fallen in recent years. At the same time, the price of Cambodia’s garment products has also fallen on international markets without improvements in quality.

Now at $182 per month, Cambodia’s minimum wage for garment workers is only a few dollars less than wages in Vietnam and is considerably higher than the average wages paid in Bangladesh.

Vietnam, which exported $35 billion worth of garment products last year, considerably more than Cambodia, also has far better industrial and logistical infrastructure and boasts overall higher productivity rates, analysts say.

That’s reflected in the cost of power, with electricity rates in Cambodia almost $0.20 per kilowatt-hour, while in Vietnam they are about $0.07.

The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index ranked Cambodia 98 out of 160 global countries. Vietnam was ranked 39, Thailand 32 and Indonesia 46.

The Cambodian government will spend considerably more of its budget in 2019, which increased by 11% from last year, on infrastructure, public works, urban development and vocational training. Investment from China, its main ally, will also bolster Cambodia’s infrastructure.

But there are rising concerns that this may be too little, too late, as Cambodia’s manufacturing rivals, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Myanmar, are also investing heavily in their own manufacturing capabilities.

Supporters of Cambodian People's Party (CPP) parade in an open truck during the first day of campaign in Phnom Penh for the general election on July 7, 2018.Cambodian political parties on Saturday kicked off a three-week-long campaign for a controversial general election later this month, which strongman Hun Sen is poised to sweep after the main opposition were disbanded and their senior members driven into self-exile. / AFP PHOTO / TANG CHHIN Sothy

Cambodian People’s Party supporters in an open truck during campaigning in Phnom Penh for the July 7, 2018, general election. Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Politics are also hurting Cambodia’s competitiveness. The EU is now weighing whether to withdraw Cambodia from its Everything But Arms scheme, which grants Cambodian exports duty-free status.

Cambodia exported roughly $5.8 billion worth of goods to the EU in 2017 under the scheme. The loss of that access is already prompting some investors and purchasers of Cambodia-made goods to move to other, more competitive markets, according to industry reports.

In December, the Ministry of Commerce reported that exports grew by just 4% in 2018, worth $11.2 billion, compared to 19% growth the previous year. Under a new government edict introduced by the government last September and which came into effect on January 1, factory owners now must also make new payments for seniority to employees.

Intended to replace severance pay, in which owners had to pay workers if they were laid off, the new seniority bonus equates to the wages of 15 days’ work and other benefits, and must be paid annually, half in June and the other half in December.

In December, thousands of garment workers went on strike because they wanted seniority payments to be made in one lump-sum rather than two payments made each year, as the law stipulates.

Garment workers who spoke to Asia Times on the condition of anonymity said they are fearful that their employers could try to change their contracts to cancel out their back pay, or could abscond from the country without paying their bonuses.

There are also fears that after factory owners make the first tranche of seniority payments in June, they will face cash-flow problems, meaning they could close down before the second set of payments are made in December.

Workers gather as they rally to mark May Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 1, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Samrang Pring

Workers gather as they rally to mark May Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 1, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Samrang Pring

Following the recent unrest, some 1,200 workers were sacked by garment factories in the capital because of their “illegal” strikes, a move supported by local courts.

Some analysts, however, argue that the strikes were merely an excuse for garment factory employers to slim down their workforce in anticipation of falling shipments and profits.

“These new policies, especially the seniority payment, are being blamed for layoffs in the garment sector,” said Sophal Ear, associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College at Los Angeles.

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), an industry body, “is justifying manufacturer layoffs of employees but disregarding who is to blame: not the employees, but the government for coming up with these policies,” he added.

“So why isn’t the government stopping these layoffs? Because it can’t. It launched a policy to get garment workers’ love, but then manufacturers get around it by laying off workers.”

There is not a reliable estimate of how much the seniority payments will cost employers. But it is likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars, especially considering that payments could be backdated for almost 10 years, while some liberal guesses put the total figure close to $100 million.

Continue reading on full article in Asia Time…

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Weekly News summary on Cambodia for the third week of January 2019

គណៈកម្មាធិការអចិន្ត្រៃយ៍CNRP សម្រេចឱ្យលោក សម រង្ស៊ីវិលចូលកម្ពុជាវិញ

ថ្ងៃចន្ទ ទី២១ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ២០១៩ នួន បូរិន

Op-Ed: Women Media Center

ភ្នំពេញ៖ គណៈកម្មាធិការអចិន្ត្រៃយ៍នៃអតីតគណបក្សសង្រ្គោះជាតិ បានសម្រេចឱ្យលោក សម រង្ស៊ី វិលចូលកម្ពុជាវិញ  ដែលសេចក្ដីសម្រេចនេះ ធ្វើឡើងបន្ទាប់ពីកិច្ចប្រជុំរបស់​ថ្នាក់​ដឹកនាំ​នៃអតីតគណបក្សប្រឆាំងជួបប្រជុំគ្នានៅទីក្រុងឡូវែល (Lowell) រដ្ឋម៉ាស្សាឈូសេត (Massachusetts) សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកកាលពីថ្ងៃទី ២១ ខែ មករា ឆ្នាំ២០១៩នេះ ។

គណៈកម្មាធិការអចិន្ត្រៃយ៍នៃបក្សនេះ បានសម្រេចជាឯកឆន្ទដោយសមាសភាព១៥ ​លើ២៤  លើ់ការវិលចូលកម្ពុជាវិញរបស់លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ដែលបច្ចុប្បន្ន​ជា​ប្រធា​ន​ស្ដី​ទីរបស់​គណ​បក្សសង្រ្គោះជាតិ។

តាមប្រសាសន៍របស់លោកអេងឆៃអ៊ាង អនុប្រធាននៃអតីតគណបក្សសង្រ្គោះជាតិ ចាត់ទុកថាការវិលមកវិញរបស់លោក សម រង្ស៊ី នឹងធ្វើឡើងតាមការសម្រេចនេះ ហើយក្រៅពីនេះ ថ្នាក់​ដឹកនាំ នឹងបន្តស្វែងរកកិច្ចអន្តរាគមន៍ថែមទៀតពីសហគមន៍អន្តរជាតិ ដើម្បីគាំទ្រយុទ្ធ​សាស្រ្ត​របស់អតីតគណបក្សសង្រ្គោះជាតិ នៅពេលលោកសមរង្ស៊ីវិល​ចូល​ប្រទេសវិញ។

រាយការណ៍ដោយលោក សោម លាភ

តាមរយៈវីដេអូផ្សាយផ្ទាល់នៅព្រឹកថ្ងៃទី ២១ ខែ មករា ឆ្នាំ ២០១៩ ធ្វើឡើងក្រោយពេលកិច្ចប្រជុំគណៈកម្មារធិការអចិន្ត្រៃយ៍របស់គណបក្សនេះបញ្ជាក់ថា កិច្ចប្រជុំនេះ ធ្វើឡើងមានការចូលរួមពីលោក សម រង្ស៊ី ប្រធានស្ដីទីនៃអតីតគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ មន្ត្រីជាន់ខ្ពស់ ព្រមទាំងសកម្មជនគណបក្សនេះមួយចំនួន  ។

លោក អេង ឆៃអៀង ថ្លែងថា ការប្រជុំរបស់គណៈកម្មការអចិន្ត្រៃយ៍ពេញលក្ខណៈថ្ងៃនេះ ជាលើកទីមួយ របស់គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ  ។

លោកថា គណបក្សសង្រ្គោះជាតិ គាំទ្រសហភាពអឺរ៉ុបដាក់ទណ្ឌកម្មមកលើកម្ពុជា ដើម្បីឱ្យមានការអនុវត្តតាមគោលការណ៍លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅកម្ពុជា ។

លោកបន្ថែមថា កិច្ចប្រជុំគណៈកម្មការអចិន្ត្រៃយ៍របស់គណបក្សង្រ្គោះជាតិ ដែលកំពុងរៀបចំការចូលកម្ពុជាវិញរបស់លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ពោលគឺលោកថា គណៈកម្មាធិការអចិន្ត្រៃយ៍នៃគណបក្សនេះ បានអនុម័តកិច្ចការចំនួនប្រាំ ដែលគណបក្សនេះត្រូវធ្វើ ។

អនុប្រធានអតីតគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិរូបនេះ បញ្ជាក់ថា គណបក្សនេះមានមនុស្សសម្រាប់ទទួលខុសត្រូវលើការសម្រេចនូវកិច្ចការទាំង ៥ នេះ ។

យ៉ាងណា ការប្រកាសរៀបចំផែនការនៃការវិលចូលកម្ពុជារបស់លោក សម រង្ស៊ី នេះ សម្ដេច ហ៊ុន សែន នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រីកម្ពុជា ធ្លាប់បានអះអាងថា កម្ពុជាត្រៀមកម្លាំងជាស្រេចសម្រាប់ចាប់លោក សម រង្ស៊ី គ្រប់ទីកន្លែង និងគ្រប់ពេលវេលា ។ តែនៅពេលចុង​ក្រោយនេះ គឺនៅថ្ងៃទី ១៤ មករា សម្ដេចបាន បង្ហើបពីការចង់ចរចាជាមួយសហភាពអឺរ៉ុប ដើម្បីធ្វើឱ្យធូរស្រាល សភាពការណ៏នយោបាយដែលនាំអោយ គណបក្សសង្រ្គោះជាតិ អាចរស់ឡើងវិញ។ 

ស្របពេលនេះ សកម្មជនរបស់អតីតគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិនៅតាមមូលដ្ឋាន  បានបង្ហាញជំហររបស់ខ្លួនពាក់ព័ន្ធនឹងការគាំទ្រលោក សម រង្ស៊ី ធ្វើជាប្រធានស្ដីទីនៃអតីតគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ ហើយក៏ស្វាគមន៍លោកចូលមកកម្ពុជាយ៉ាងឱឡារឹកផងដែរ ។

អ្នកវិភាគថា ប្រសិនបើលោក សម រង្ស៊ី វិលចូលកម្ពុជា អាចនឹងមានច្រកចេញនយោបាយកម្ពុជាឱ្យធូរស្បើយឡើងវិញ ។ លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ធ្លាប់នីរទេសខ្លួនពីការចាប់ខ្លួន ចំនួន៤លើកមកហើយ ។ តែមុនលោក ចូលកម្ពុជា វិញ លោកតែងតែ ទទួលបានការបើកភ្លើងខៀវពីសម្ដេចនាយករដ្ឋមន្រ្តី និងការលើកលែងទោស ដោយព្រះមហាក្សត្រ ។

កាលលោកវិលមកវិញ នៅថ្ងៃ​ទី ១៩ កក្កដា ឆ្នាំ២០១៣ គឺមុនមួយសប្ដាហ៍នៃការបោះឆ្នោតសភានីតិកាលទី៥ គឺជា​ឆន្ទួៈរបស់លោកផ្ទាល់ តែក្រោយបន្តិចមានការលើកលែងទោស ដោយព្រះមហាក្សត្រ ។ កាលវិលវិញរបស់លោកសមរង្ស៊ីនៅពេលនោះ មានអ្នកគាំទ្រ ជិតមួយលាននាក់មក​ទទួលលោក ។ តាមអ្នកវិភាគ លោកសមរង្ស៊ី វិលមកវិញ ទំនងលោកចង់បង្ហាញ ឆន្ទៈ​លោក​ជាថ្មីទៀតដោយសង្ឃឹមថា នឹងអ្នកគាំទ្រមកទទួលលោកដូចឆ្នាំ២០១៣ ។ តែបែបនេះក្ដី អាជ្ញាធរកម្ពុជា ដូចជាអ្នកនាំពាក្យ ក្រសួងមហាផ្ទៃធ្លាប់​ព្រមានការ​អនុវត្តទោស ចាប់ខ្លួនលោកសមរង្ស៊ី បើអ្នកនយោបាយ ដែលលោកខាងលិចគាំទ្ររូបនេះ វិលចូលកម្ពុជាមែននោះ ៕

អត្តបទដោយ៖ សោម លាភ

Hun Sen turns to China as Cambodia-EU relations cool

Op-Ed: RFI Issued on 20-01-2019 Modified 20-01-2019 to 15:36

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has begun a four-day visit to China amidst cooling relations with Brussels. China is a long-term backer of Cambodia, supporting it against Vietnam under Khmer Rouge rule, and more recently it is interested in Cambodia’s strategic position in southeast Asia.

Hun Sen’s arrival in Beijing on Sunday came just days after the EU reinstated “normal” customs duty on rice imports from Cambodia. As of 18 January, it will pay 175 euros per tonne, to be reduced progressively over three years. 

Before this weekend, Cambodia benefitted from the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme, which grants duty-free access to the world’s least developed countries.

Continue reading “Weekly News summary on Cambodia for the third week of January 2019”
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