The Chinese Embassy in Cambodia's official Facebook page finally made its first post on Sunday with an announcement about a Chinese-funded health project.
Sporting a fuzzy photo of the two nations’ flags as its profile picture, the first activity on the page was on March 28, when a cover photo was uploaded. Sunday marked the first time the page shared a status update, a post in Khmer announcing the operation of 20 mobile clinics in the Cambodian countryside funded by Chinese aid.
While the Facebook post was written in Khmer, the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia’s official website is offered only in Mandarin and English. Chinese embassies in other countries in the region, including in Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia, have Facebook pages with posts shared in English or in the local language.
Facebook is the dominant social media platform in Cambodia, with 4.8 million users reported last year. Tensions between China and Cambodia have risen in recent months, particularly in the coastal town of Sihanoukville, where many local business owners have complained of being pushed off their land and losing profits due to an influx of Chinese tourists and businesses in the city.
The Chinese Embassy's page, with 188 followers, lags behind the popularity of other foreign embassies' Facebook pages in Cambodia. The US Embassy page has 1.3 million followers, the EU's page has more than 500,000 followers and the Japanese Embassy page has about 80,000 followers.
Facebook has been banned in mainland China since 2009, and the country has fostered local social media platforms to facilitate the government’s strict censorship laws.
Five Chinese Embassy staffers in Cambodia contacted by The Post on Monday declined to comment on the page.