Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly asked Prime Minister Hun Sen not to bow to European Union over the Everything-but-arms preferential trade status, according to a senior official.
Mr Hun Sen flew to Beijing yesterday and met Mr Xi to lend support to China’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
Kao Kim Hourn, Minister Delegate Attached to the Prime Minister, said yesterday that Mr Xi advised that Cambodia must not fold to EU’s demand in regards to democracy and human rights.
“I know that Cambodia is experiencing pressure from the EU over the EBA. Whatever it is Cambodia should not bow its head to the EU,” Mr Kim Hourn quoted Mr Xi as saying. “Otherwise, Cambodia will be affected by this [pressure] because some countries are intending to provoke a colour revolution in Cambodia,”
Mr Hun Sen requested Mr Xi to support Chinese garment investors in Cambodia if the EBA is suspended.
“I would like to ask our Chinese friend to continue supporting Chinese investors who have run business in Cambodia if the Kingdom will lose the EBA,” Mr Kim Hourn quoted Mr Hun Sen as saying.
The European Commission last year launched a period of intensive monitoring and engagement that could lead to the suspension of the EBA due to perceived democratic setbacks and human rights violation.
The EU will make its final decision this month if its EBA will be suspended.