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Vietnamese structure on border draws ire

People inspect a Vietnamese-made pond on the Ratanakkiri province border last year. Adhoc
People inspect a Vietnamese-made pond on the Ratanakkiri province border last year. Adhoc

Vietnamese structure on border draws ire

The construction of a police station in undemarcated border land between Cambodia and Vietnam has prompted Cambodia’s Border Affairs Committee to call a meeting with its counterpart across the border, a senior government official confirmed.

Vietnam secretly built the new police station last month on the disputed land in Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district, said Var Kimhong, senior minister for border affairs.

“I received a report last week about the new cement construction in the border area,” Kimhong said, adding that Cambodian officials immediately requested that the construction be halted and the Vietnamese acquiesced.

The border affairs committee plans to meet later this month in Phnom Penh with the Vietnamese side to discuss the issue further.

This is not the first time that Vietnamese officials began construction in the border zone. Nine ponds were also built in the same territory last year, and have not been filled in despite requests from Cambodia’s border authorities.

But Kimhong said Cambodia has no means to force Vietnam’s hand. “We cannot force them to follow our requests at gunpoint.”

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