Chinese national Wang Xiao Jiao (R), ex-manager at Top World garment factory, is escorted by police at Phnom Penh Municipal Court. She was deported back to China Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post
A Chinese woman found guilty of intentionally causing damage after tearing up photos of the late King Father was deported yesterday morning – a mere two days after the crime occurred.
Wang Zia Chao, 43, who on Tuesday was given a suspended one-year prison sentence, left for China on a 7:45 am flight and will not be permitted to return, Phnom Penh municipal police chief Choun Sovann said.
Workers at the Top World factory, where Zia Chao was employed as a manager, returned to work yesterday, added Sovann.
More than 1,000 workers launched a strike Monday morning after Zia Chao ripped up two photos of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk belonging to a worker.
She was swiftly arrested, made to publicly apologise to King Norodom Sihamoni, tried and sentenced.
Though deportations frequently take several days to occur, national police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said authorities hustled the case due to security concerns.
“Of course, we don’t want to keep her here, because we are afraid that the workers could have more reaction … [We deported her] to avoid any incidents happening.”
Now that she has left the country, however, Chantharith and other officials said they were confident the adverse reaction would end there.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong insisted the case was an “individual matter” and would have zero impact on the unusually strong bilateral relationship.
“The current good relations, co-operation and strategic partnership between Cambodia and China is going better and stronger from day-to-day,” he wrote in an SMS.
The reaction from authorities was markedly different from that in 2003, when a rumour regarding a Thai actress’s comments about Angkor Wat sparked a large anti-Thai riot that left one person dead. For those involved in the latest furore, Cambodia’s bond with a country increasingly playing the role of benevolent benefactor, had no small relation to the relatively subdued reaction.
“If she were another nationality, the workers would have beat her,” admitted worker representative Keo Chinda.