The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday issued a statement reiterating government policy laid out expressly by Prime Minister Hun Sen in recent speeches, saying Cambodia will not support Tuesday’s expected arbitration decision at the Hague in the South China Sea territorial dispute between China and the Philippines.
“Cambodia views that the Philippines complaint is to request the Permanent Court of Arbitration to settle its dispute with China and this process is not related to all ASEAN member states,” notes the statement. “Therefore, Cambodia will not join in expressing any common position on the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.”
Hun Sen has stated his disapproval of the process on multiple occasions, labelling it a “political conspiracy” against China.
“This is the first time that the ministry issued a statement in order to make sure about the stance of Cambodia on the verdict of the court and avoid any misinterpretation,” ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said yesterday.
The statement also calls on the two countries “to settle their dispute through peaceful means”, in order to maintain stability and continue the mutually beneficial partnership between ASEAN and China.