Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Following US, EU withdrawal of funding, China to donate huge load of goods to NEC

Following US, EU withdrawal of funding, China to donate huge load of goods to NEC

Vehicles, equipment and supplies donated by China to the NEC at a handover ceremony in Phnom Penh last December. Fresh News
Vehicles, equipment and supplies donated by China to the NEC at a handover ceremony in Phnom Penh last December. Fresh News

Following US, EU withdrawal of funding, China to donate huge load of goods to NEC

China will donate more than 30 different kinds of equipment – including 60,000 polling booths and 15,000 ballot boxes – to the National Election Committee (NEC) ahead of next year’s general elections.

The pledge is the first of its kind since the European Union and United States withdrew their support of the election body after the Supreme Court dissolved the Cambodia National Rescue Party – the nation’s only viable opposition – in November.

China will provide 134 computers, 30 security cameras and a number of radios, printers and pieces of office furniture, according to the NEC.

NEC official Dim Sovannarom said the equipment is “very important to ensure the election can be held regularly, independently and transparently”. He added that he does not yet know the monetary value of the equipment.

China donated nearly $12 million worth of equipment to the NEC last year. The EU also pledged roughly $12 million to the NEC but withdrew its support earlier this month with roughly $1.5 million unspent, according to EU Ambassador George Edgar.

Sovannarom said the NEC made an appeal to other countries for assistance in early October and received confirmation from China on Sunday.

“Even though the EU suspended its assistance, we still receive assistance from the international community, especially China,” Sovannarom said.

China has been perhaps the only member of the international community to express its support of the government’s crackdown on the opposition, and in recent years Cambodia has embraced Chinese aid as it pivots away from the West.

Astrid Noren-Nilsson, an expert on Cambodian politics at Lund University, said China’s aid has historically been directed toward infrastructure projects, while the US and Europe have focused on democracy building.

The fact that China is stepping into electoral aid suggests Cambodia is rapidly turning closer to the Chinese political model, she said.

“In filling in where the US and EU pulled out, Beijing is making good of its promise to stick with the Cambodian government through thick and thin,” Noren-Nilsson said.

The Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • Nearly 50 states join Kun Khmer Federation, all set for training

    In a little over a week, the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) has accepted membership requests from 20 new nations, in addition to the exiting 29. The sudden influx of international recognition stems from the Kingdom’s successful introduction of Kun Khmer to the 32nd Souheast Asian (

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,