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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen leads CPP officials to China

Hun Sen leads CPP officials to China

Prime Minister Hun Sen has taken a large group of officials from his Cambodian People's

Party (CPP) on a six-day trip to China, sparking warnings about the legality of loans

signed by a caretaker government.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao, attend the Boao

Economic Forum, and visit several provinces.

The visit will strengthen the long historic relationship between Cambodia and China,

Hun Sen told reporters at the airport before his departure on April 19.

Hor Nam Hong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and one of those on the trip, told reporters

that China had promised to sign 16 bilateral agreements with Cambodia during the

visit, including four contracts of Chinese-Cambodian private investment.

However, Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Keo Remy warned that any loan signed between a

foreign country and the caretaker government without the approval of National Assembly

is illegal.

"If a caretaker government borrows money from a foreign country without approval

of the National Assembly, I think that Cambodia's administration is being adopted

into a communist style," Remy said on April 22.

Khmer Intelligence, an anonymous but often-accurate website disseminating political

information, claimed that several visits by high-ranking officials of the Chinese

Communist Party had resulted in $50 million being given to Cambodia to support the

caretaker government's worsening financial crisis.

The website wrote on April 9 that the a large portion of the money is earmarked for

a group of business tycoons who are the financial pillars of the ruling CPP, who

will be asked to invest in a number of industries to consolidate the CPP grip on

the economy.

Meanwhile, the almost-nine-month deadlock between political parties continues, with

the negotiators from the CPP and Funcinpec scheduled to next meet on April 28 in

Phnom Penh.

All leaders of the three main political parties are out of the country.

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