China once again reiterated its support for Cambodia’s “sovereignty” on Friday, with Prime Minister Hun Sen claiming the country hopes for his re-election in July.
In a post on his Facebook page, the premier described an informal “sideline” meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program summit.
“Chinese leaders would like to support and wish Samdech Techo [Hun Sen] to win the election and lead Cambodia’s destiny to make it become more developed in the future,” he wrote.
Chinese state news outlet Xinhua stopped short of confirming that specific claim, but did report that Yi said “China and Cambodia are a community of common destiny”.
“China will as always support Cambodia for choosing its own development path . . . and support Cambodia in safeguarding sovereignty and national interests,” the article continues.
Only China has consistently expressed support for Cambodia amid its ongoing political crackdown. The campaign has seen the only viable opposition party dissolved and its leader jailed. At the same time, Cambodia has distanced itself from countries in the West critical of the current regime, instead closely allying with China.
The Xinhua article went on to assert that Wang encouraged Cambodia to play an “active role” in developing relations between China and Asean.
Cambodia has been accused of acting as China’s proxy within Asean after blocking statements critical of the superpower.