Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Provincial governors told: Taiwan just one province

Provincial governors told: Taiwan just one province

Provincial governors told: Taiwan just one province

PRIME Minister Hun Sen has warned provincial governors not to permit the establishment of Taiwanese government bureaus or offices at the sub-national level, reiterating Cambodia’s adherence to the Chinese government’s One-China Policy.

Speaking at a forum on the government’s sub-national development programme yesterday, Hun Sen said provincial governors were appointed by central authorities, and would “be fired immediately” if they allowed Taiwan to establish a political presence with their jurisdictions.

“[Taiwan] has wanted to set up such bureaus again and again. But I would like to stress that it is impossible on this matter,” the premier said.

“If the provincial governors think they are in power and Taiwan wants to hold any ceremony in their province or post any Taiwanese flags, there would be disaster quickly. I would like to send a message at this point.

“We follow the One-China Policy Taiwan is a just one province of the People’s Republic of China.”

Chinese embassy spokesman Qian Hai said yesterday that China “appreciated” the Cambodian government’s support, and that China was not opposed to Taiwan pursuing “private” business in the Kingdom.

The One-China Policy paints Taiwan as an indivisible part of the Chinese mainland, and calls for a peaceful reunification of the two territories under Beijing’s rule.

The premier’s comments came after officials withdrew Taiwanese flags from tables at a business forum in Phnom Penh on July 1.

At the Cambodia and Taiwan Business Meeting, jointly organised by the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and the Taiwan Commercial Association of Cambodia, Taiwanese flags were visible on the tables during an opening speech by YH Chiang, the commissioner of Taiwan’s Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission.

Kith Meng, chairman of the CCC, admitted at the time that flags were removed by officials. “There were Taiwanese flags put on the table by a Taiwanese company, but we took them away,” he said. “We solved it.”

Professor Bruce Jacobs, a specialist in Taiwanese politics at Monash University in Melbourne, said the effort to block Taiwanese diplomatic efforts and prevent the display of Taiwanese flags – a controversial symbol even in Taiwan itself – was not surprising, and would likely not affect business.

“To the best of my knowledge, Taiwanese business in Cambodia is welcome,” he said.

Taiwanese officials in Thailand could not be reached yesterday.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY TEP NIMOL AND JAMES O’TOOLE

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on