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The US helps push Cambodia closer to China

Gary Fultheim / Khmer Times Share:
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 1, 2017. Xinhua/Rao Aimin

US policy could not help Prince Norodom Sihanouk liberate Cambodia from the French, so he sought help from China. Prince Sihanouk in the 1950s asked the US for help to liberate Cambodia from France and was denied assistance by the US State Department. The United States, in turn walked away from General Lon Nol, so China helped the Khmer Rouge kill 3 million people in Cambodia.

And it just goes round. After the Khmer Rouge were ousted in 1979 by Vietnam, the US helped China support them in the UN and in turn helped China fight Vietnam.

It becomes very obvious now, as the US pushes for sanctions against Cambodia as encouraged by the outlawed CNRP, it would again draw the Kingdom closer to China.

Jobs would be lost as a result of the sanctions and investors would move to Vietnam. Obviously, CNRP would be blamed for this and it’s in no one’s interest for sanctions to be imposed on the country.

Congressmen Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), both involved with the US Foreign Relations Committee, in pushing for sanctions against Cambodia, have attacked the CPP and Prime Minister Hun Sen. Little do they realise that the US is again drawing Cambodia closer to China.

It is sheer hypocrisy to attack Cambodia based on its human rights record. The US bombed many parts of Cambodia and this heinous act is still embedded in the minds of many Cambodians and the Cambodian leadership.

Sanctions on Cambodia, as espoused by Congressmen Lowenthal and Rohrabacher will also have an effect on Long Beach city in California, where most of the Cambodian diaspora are. The flow of Cambodian investment, primarily from wealthy CPP backers, into Long Beach will slow down – thus jeopardizing the development of this city, as known as Cambodian Town. Why should Cambodian investors bring in money to the US when there are threats to freeze their assets due to imposed sanctions?

The CPP and Vietnam helped free Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge. The US is still harbouring its revenge mentality against Vietnam and in turn punishing Cambodia for it.

This outdated Cold War mentality must end.

Gary Fultheim

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