Cambodia Foreign policy

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Posted by: | Posted on: January 30, 2017

Cambodia must conduct “Realism” in its foreign affairs policy

Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 95

This part (95), Mr. Sophan persuasively analysed the importance of foreign policy for Cambodia to maximize nation’s interests of the Kingdom. As Cambodia has been seen as influenced by major changes of international affairs, directing her foreign policy leaning to any super power without having strong internal national institution is not realistic as IR coined it “Realism”.

Courtesy: Stephen M. Walt

Courtesy: Stephen M. Walt

After Cambodia worked to make a favour from China in many aspects, the recent official visit of Vietnamese president to China, and the visit of Vice President of USA to Hanoi, and the upcoming visit of Prime Minister of Japan to Hanoi, all are signs that Vietnam has tried to maximize interests for their nation. Vietnam can make friend with China, their historical foe, while Vietnam signed many agreements with USA and its allies. This reminded us during the post-cold war while China aided Vietnam to overcome USA, Vietnam can unify North Vietnam and South Vietnam eventually, and without procrastinating, Vietnam untied themselves from China with plan to invade Cambodia in January 7, 1979. By turning to Russia who is enemy of China, Vietnam can ensure its independence sovereignty from China as well as maximize its national interests through occupying Cambodia.

Right now, Cambodia should learn to conduct “realism” for its best collective interests for this nation.

Posted by: | Posted on: July 23, 2015

Cambodia Geostrategic Exit

Firstly, I would like to personally appeal to the Cambodian government to release the 11 detainees immediately without delay in order to shoulder for national strength to face a new challenging international geopolitics changes.

11 Prisoners of Conscience

The 11 political activists who were convicted with felony insurrection

At the moment, the changes of political landscape of the world have clearly complex, the bloc has been shaped differently, and the post cold war domino effect theory is likely irrelevant.

Domino effect was accurately theorized by Western scholar to shun the communism spread pushed by China to Vietnam to Cambodia and to Thailand. But now, this domino phenomena has been changing faces and directions.

Domino EffectRight now, China and Vietnam have heated up conflicts on the ownership of Spratly Island. The history of China-Vietnam conflicts has been recorded since the ancient politics but it was changed during the cold war and post-cold war. However, the patronage of China towards Vietnam in dismantling the USA base of South Vietnam, and the help of China to unify the North and South Vietnam, had turned bad effect on China when Vietnam unanimously decided to invade Cambodia in January 7, 1979. During that time, Vietnam was with Russia in the belief to change its patron by changing political ideology from Maoism to Leninism while both ideologies are just byproduct of Marxism, the extreme scholar/theorist on human equality.

Domino Theory and Key cold war termsThis July 23, 2015, Vietnam top leader Nyuen Phu Truong and Thailand’s military leader Prayuth Chan-ocha shook hand to strengthen bilateral trade and political cooperation. This happened after few days of Vietnamese top leader was greeted and shaken hand by American president Barack Obama in honor to reopen diplomatic tie between both countries as well as to diffuse more military and investment boost for Vietnam.

So where is Cambodia now?

Courtesy: Facebook of CSIS

Courtesy: Facebook of CSIS

With the government head leans towards China, Cambodia is believed to strengthen tie with China closer than any time of Cambodia historical diplomacy ties beside of the Khmer Rouge government. This tie strengthening has triggered many doubts on how Cambodia could use this opportunity efficiently, or Cambodia has no clue on its true foreign policy?

Foreign policy means extra territorial nation state relationship that can boost mutual interest at the maximum. Cambodia must be concerned on foreign policy pragmatism that all countries around the world are important friends for Cambodia. USA, China, Vietnam,  or Thailand, etc.; Cambodia must ensure that we can go along with them all except a country violates Cambodia interests.

Hence, a strong country can pursue a strong foreign policy depends on the internal strength of that country. Now, Cambodian people have questioned that “how much Cambodia internal unity and nation institution are strong?”

It is hard to comprehend on this as:

  1. Government is not reluctant to use the court to silent the critics and threaten the opposition party CNRP by convicting the 11 political activists of the CNRP on lethal felony nation insurrection to jail termed between 7 to 20 years.
  2. Government without fear to pass the controversial law on NGOs and civil society (LANGO) even-though there are strong opposes by the international communities.

These recent two scenarios have placed Cambodia into a self-inflicting pot in front of the flashing heated foreign policy challenges.