THE Chinese Embassy is not amused that it has become dragged into one the more bizarre
stories to emerge in Khmer media for some time.
The newspaper Moneaksekar Khmer printed an article on August 21 quoting an intelligence
source as saying that the fuel leak on the aircraft due to fly His Majesty King Norodom
Sihanouk to Beijing for a medical check-up on August 1 was the work of Vietnamese
terrorists who were trying to cut short his reign.
The paper claimed that one of the terrorists was shot dead trying to carry out his
mission and his body was flown back to Vietnam.
The article went on to quote a Chinese diplomat as saying that the Chinese Government
had told Vietnam that they should stop trying to kill the King.
A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy has reportedly dismissed the claims as "untrue,
insulting and irresponsible". A spokesman for the Vietnamese Embassy appeared
bemused by the story but said he would rather not comment.
Airline experts have already dismissed the discharge of fuel on to the tarmac as
a common occurrence on aircraft which have full tanks and are then left in the sun.