Chinese aid a politically freeing act, PM asserts

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen at the summit between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and other political parties from around the globe under the theme “For the People’s Wellbeing: Responsibility of Political Parties”, held via video conference on July 6. SPM

Prime Minister Hun Sen called on ruling political parties around the world to boost cooperation and refrain from interference in the internal affairs of other states.

Hun Sen made the remarks at the summit between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and other political parties from around the globe under the theme “For the People’s Wellbeing: Responsibility of Political Parties”, held via video conference on July 6.

“We must uphold the lives and interests of the people and international solidarity and cooperation with strict respect for the sovereignty and independence of each nation.

“All political parties, regardless of tendency, must prioritise the interests of the nation and the people, never compromising by following a short-term political agenda of ruthless struggle for power without regards for peace, stability, national sovereignty and the wellbeing of the people,” he said.

In these extremely challenging circumstances, Hun Sen said political parties should feel a deep sense of responsibility to their nations and their peoples and end the culture and behaviours of jealousy, suspicions and baseless accusations and criticisms and replace it with a constructive attitude and the spirit of cooperation in solving the challenges faced by humanity and by the people, both within the global framework as well as within individual countries.

Hun Sen called on all political parties to unite to save human lives by succeeding in the fight against Covid-19, recognising Covid-19 vaccines as a public good and by adhering to the principles of vaccine multilateralism in the process of production, distribution and consumption.

The prime minister thanked China for its vigorous support for Cambodia through its provision of assistance, both technical and material, and especially its generous support in the form of Covid-19 vaccines as well as facilitating and prioritising Cambodia for all vaccine orders.

Hun Sen said he considered Chinese aid to Cambodia a means of helping strengthen Cambodia’s political independence.

“His Excellency [Chinese President] Xi Jinping, let me express my gratitude to the Communist Party of China as well as to the Chinese people.

“Small and poor countries need independence and sovereignty, avoiding other countries’ orders and interference. In this sense, the assistance of our Chinese friends is really helping to strengthen our political independence along with socio-economic development and poverty reduction,” Hun Sen said.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post on July 7 that developing countries need assistance, investment and trade exchange with other countries, but not under the conditions of exchange, orders, or pressure because all countries have different political, economic, social and cultural conditions.

“Other countries that help less developed countries or poor countries while trying to impose any conditions for investment or trade, it does not reflect the situations in all those countries,” he said.

He said Hun Sen’s statement is a positive move because the superpowers and especially the western powers, have always tried to inject their political agendas into state development or governance of other countries.

“Such interventions may not be effective if they do not have an in-depth understanding of the conditions in these developing countries,” Phea said.

Asian Vision Institute director Chheang Vannarith told The Post on July 7 that nothing is more valuable than freedom, independence and sovereignty and that foreign policy begins at home with national interests placed first.

“Cambodia’s core national interests are peace, prosperity and prestige,” he said.

Vannarith said Cambodia’s foreign policy objectives should always support these four pillars – building an independent nation, building a prosperous nation, building an intelligent nation and building a resilient nation.