Spending much time of my life to monitor the Vietnam’s policy over Cambodia. The outraged condemnation over the Vietnam’s invasion in Cambodia in 7 January 1979 was very out-bursting. During that time, the UNs, Cambodian people, and international community except Russia, had joint in solidarity to refuse legitimacy of Vietnam over their liberation and humanitarian claim over the brutal regime of Pol Pot whom established and nourished by Vietnam at the beginning.
With the patron of Russia alone has weakened Vietnam both governance and economic effort until the Vietnam communist congress adopted a resolution to change policy from centralized-communism politburo to diversified-one party state doi moi policy. It is noted that the pre-colonial and post-colonial don dien policy have been achieved with the new adopted doi moi during the cold war period. Doi Moi literally means “new innovation” in which Vietnam opened its door to the Western world by accepting some conditions (but focusing on national interests) including the withdrawal of Vietnamese military from Cambodia. But the mix use of don dien with doi moi has been strongly embedded, and Vietnam’s interest first has clearly exposed during this 7 January 2019.
According to RFA, the news outlet of Vietnam claimed about King of Cambodia and Hun Sen agreed to add more public holidays into its calendar such as:
Recognize the date on June 21, 1978 as the date that Hun Sen came across the border to request assistance from Vietnam to help Cambodia.
Recognize the date on January 7, 1979 as the date that Vietnam helped liberating Cambodia from the brutal regime of Pol Pot with the joint effort by Cambodian force.
Recognize the date on December 29, 1999 as the date of win-win policy that internal fighting was ended.
This claim has come amid Hun Sen’s kicking back of democracy principle embedded in Cambodia since the presence of United Nations’s first national democratic election in 1993 under the provision of Paris Peace Agreement of October 23, 1991. His new outrageous political manoeuvring is to dissolve the opposition party CNRP, to arrest and jail its leader Kem Sokha, to distribute those seats elected by the people voters to his own party, and to band 118 people not to involve in politics right for five years.
This new authoritarian approach has been a failure on the face of Hun Sen after there are uproar condemnation by the Cambodian people and international community, and his present government is operating as neither “de jure” nor “de facto” government and illegitimate. Hence, Vietnam doesn’t care about this failure, but Vietnam can still undertake its doi moi space in Cambodia space without limitation.
What the opposition and democratic movements shall do next?
The voice of Cambodian youths (bulge) and international community are sufficient for all democrats to claim back democracy and rule of law in Cambodia. The new development in Cambodia by Hun Sen such as building win-win monument and celebrating this upcoming January 7 day are considered as an abstraction and an intended distraction. The CNRP should not loss sight to unify and inspire the EU, America, Australia, Canada etc. especially Cambodian people to stand up firm to this concurrent one-party state authoritarian Hun Sen.
Note that during Doi Moi, Vietnam could assess to both China and USA for its interests in their effort to stirring up Cambodia, but this time, Vietnam’s interest in Cambodia is likely an exit one as their tamed persons in Cambodia are useless among Cambodian people and international community.