After having carefully read your newspaper article entitled “Troops to move out of PDZ,” written jointly by Cheang Sokha and David Boyle, I am very much concerned with some of the issues raised in this article because of their inaccuracy and sloppy work, which I wish to clarify, as follows:
First, to quote another newspaper which was quoting an anonymous source is truly very unprofessional and working with a certain political agenda. The “anonymous diplomat”, as quoted in the newspaper is, no doubt, a crazy idiot who knew nothing about the situation.
In fact, HE Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, did not walk out of the “last-minute negotiation…” To the contrary, His Excellency Hor Namhong tried very hard, even in he last minutes, to find a compromise so that Cambodia, as the Chair of ASEAN, could issue the Joint Communique.
All ASEAN Member States, with the only exception of the Philippines and Vietnam, fully supported the draft paragraph on the South China Sea in the Joint Communique.
Second, on the so-called “a watered down version of the communiqué”, once again this is absolutely incorrect. Collectively, ASEAN had negotiated and agreed to more than 130 paragraphs of the Joint Communique. There was no “watered down” sections for those paragraphs.
Third, on the point that “China bought the chair, simple as that”, I am of the view that this particular diplomat’s head may have been bought by someone before, and perhaps his or her own country may have been bought by another country as well.
It may have been the reason for this particular diplomat to have stated it this way, speaking from his or her own experience.
Cambodia, as a nation with rich culture and civilisation of many centuries, could not have been bought by any country, even if we have good relations with that particular country.
I would like to request you to print this reply letter in your newspaper.
Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary of State
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