Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong yesterday met with Australia’s ambassador to Cambodia to argue the government’s position on the South China Sea following last week’s ruling by an international court.
Namhong, who stepped down as foreign minister in April, met Ambassador Angela Corcoran at the Council of Ministers to exchange views on bilateral cooperation, student scholarships and the South China Sea, according to his adviser.
“The deputy prime minister informed the newly appointed Australian ambassador that Cambodia’s position over the South China Sea, which Prime Minister Hun Sen has already stressed, is that it is a bilateral issue between China and the Philippines and does not involve ASEAN and Cambodia,” the adviser said.
Last week’s arbitration decision at The Hague largely dismissed China’s claim to large parts of the South China Sea, ruling in favour of the Philippines on nearly every point.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has been accused of supporting China, Cambodia’s largest foreign donor, by preemptively dismissing the court’s decision, calling the process a “political conspiracy”.