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Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

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Cambodia Border Affairs Committee vice-chairman Koy Pisey and Vietnamese Border Affairs Committee vice-chairman Fung Thelong co-signed an agreement at the handover and reception ceremony after they verified and agreed to accept the maps on August 01, 2020. Koy Pisey Facebook

Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps on Monday despite criticism from former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that the Kingdom is losing land in the deal.

The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving roughly 16 per cent of the 1,270km border to be finalised.

Cambodia Border Affairs Committee Chairman Var Kimhong explained the establishment of the 1/25,000 maps at the exchange ceremony where the two sides agreed on all 500 sets of border topographic maps at the Moc Bai border crossing, Tay Ninh province, Vietnam.

Cambodia Border Affairs Committee vice-chairman Koy Pisey and Vietnamese Border Affairs Committee vice-chairman Fung Thelong co-signed an agreement at the handover and reception ceremony after they verified and agreed to accept the maps.

“These maps are modern ones in the 4.0 digital era, clearly showing borderlines, border markers and geographical situations. It is easy to use,” Pisey said.

Immediately after the map exchange ceremony, the former CNRP released a statement voicing concern over the maps. The statement claims the maps were drawn by Vietnam through the 1985 border treaty and the 2005 Supplementary Treaty.

“The CNRP understands that accepting new maps 1/25,000 from Vietnam is like accepting land titles of Cambodia that were drawn by Vietnam. In this sense, the territorial integrity of Cambodia was demarcated by Vietnam,” the statement read.

In an interview with The Post on Monday, Kimhong rejected the CNRP claims as baseless and without research.

He said the maps were produced new by the Danish firm Bloom Info and later another company Niras took over the work, which was completed last year. All phases of production were examined by the Cambodian and Vietnamese sides.

The maps were also verified on the actual land to see whether aerial pictures are correct. After agreeing to the maps, both sides set marker locations and the companies put markers and borderlines into the maps as well as check them against what both sides agreed to.

Both sides plan to lodge the maps with the UN, Kimhong said.

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