Friday, 11.1.2008: Mr. Son Chhay: The Khmer Government’s Politics Preventing the Establishment of a Taiwanese Trade Office Are Stupid

Posted on 12 January 2008. Filed under: Week 542 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 542

“Mr. Son Chhay, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian and the chairperson of the Fifth Commission of the National Assembly [in charge of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media], reacted to the blocking attitude by Khmer government leaders, preventing the establishment of a Taiwanese trade office in Cambodia.

“Mr. Son Chhay said, ‘The Khmer government’s politics preventing the establishment of a Taiwanese trade office in Cambodia is stupid, and it is even more extremist than the People’s Republic of China, because they allow such a representative office in their country.’

“The parliamentarian, who is good in criticizing the government without fear of anybody, stated clearly, “Our Cambodia has also Taiwanese investors. And if we need investments in order to increase the number of jobs for Khmer citizens and to help the economy of the country, we should not be so tough toward Taiwan when it is only to set up such a trade office.’

“Mr. Son Chhay, the chairperson of the Fifth Commission of the National Assembly of Cambodia, continued, ‘Such an office does not cause any opposition by China. Therefore, to be afraid of China, and pleasing China too much, are political positions which bring a loss to our national interests.’

“It should be remembered that Cambodia adheres to the One-China Policy since previously. Even the leader of the biggest opposition party of Cambodia – Mr. Sam Rainsy – also used to speak about his supports for the One-China Policy.

“However, Mr. Sam Rainsy also used to provide good recommendations to the Hun Sen Government for the One-China Policy: that it must consider also the relations of Cambodian international trade with other countries worldwide, so that our national economy survives and our citizens have a good livelihood.

“Nonetheless, Hun Sen Government officials stated on 9 January that three has not been any official request for opening a Taiwanese trade representative office in Cambodia.

“In the meantime, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information and spokesperson of the Hun Sen Government, said, ‘In general, Taiwanese trade representative offices always play a role as unofficial embassies of Taiwan. But so far, we have not received any request and we have also not made any comment. Nevertheless, we think that, because trade offices play a role as unofficial Taiwanese offices, it would be difficult to consider such a request. To work well, Taiwanese businesspeople who come to invest in Cambodia should create associations or anything which can also facilitate the work of those who want to do business in Cambodia.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith said so after national and international newspapers had published an announcement by an official of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, stating their plan to reopen a trade office in Cambodia.

“Different newspapers quoted the speech of the official of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, which plans to open its branch offices in Cambodia and in some other countries in Asia, such as Burma and Pakistan etc.

“But a speech of Mr. Om Yentieng, a senior advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen, was quoted by a local newspaper saying that the plan of Taiwan [in the original Khmer: ‘of the Island of Taiwan’] may not work.

“It should be stated that a Taiwanese trade representative office had once been created in Cambodia after 1993, but it was closed after the events of fighting between the forces loyal to the Cambodian People’s Party and the forces loyal to Prince Ranariddh, the former president of Funcinpec, in July 1997 in Phnom Penh .

“Later on, the Cambodian government had continued to prohibit very firmly and definitely to open a Taiwanese trade representative office in Cambodia, by just stating that Cambodia has to maintain a One-China policy.

“Even so, Mr. Son Chhay, the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian and chairperson of the Fifth Commission of the National Assembly, reminded Hun Sen Government officials, ‘The attitude of being afraid of China, and of pleasing China too much, is a political position contributing to the loss of our national interests.’

“Furthermore, Mr. Son Chhay stressed, ‘The Khmer government’s politics preventing the establishment of a Taiwanese trade office in Cambodia is stupid, and it is even more extremist than the People’s Republic of China, because they allow such a representative office in their country.’” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #90, 11-12.1.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 11 January 2008

Chakraval, Vol.16, #2746, 11.1.2008

  • Trial in Drug Case in Kompong Speu [10 January]: Culprit Chea Chung Said that High Ranking Officials Took Money from Him [but no names mentioned]
  • Cambodian People’s Party Fears there Will Be No Opposition Party after 2008 [while the Sam Rainsy Party softens its stance toward the Cambodian People’s Party and the government]
  • Government Will Consider Closedown of Game Slot Machines; a Number of Government Officials and Traders Take Money to Throw It into Game Slot Machines in Clubs Every Day

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1542, 11.1.2008

  • Pnong Ethnic Minority Tribespeople Plan to Hold Large Demonstration over Land Disputes [Ratanakiri]
  • Mr. Pa Socheatevong [Deputy Municipal Governor]: In 2009 There Will Be Elections for District, Provincial, and Town Councils

Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #545, 11.1.2008

  • Land Disputes May Block Cambodian People’s Party’s Votes

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #90, 11-12.1.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Some Foreign Companies That Come to Do Business in Cambodia Are Wicked Companies, They Are International Thieves Who Secretly Cut Trees [good companies do not dare to come to Cambodia, because they fear corruption]
  • Mr. Son Chhay: The Khmer Government’s Politics Preventing the Establishment of a Taiwanese Trade Office Are Stupid
  • Opposition Parliamentarian [Son Chhay] Demands Customs to Increase Effectiveness in Collecting Taxes and Preventing Corruption
  • Nhek Kosal Vithyea [Director of Telecom Cambodia] Should Not Be Kept to Live Happily [in position] on Pile of Corruption Any Longer

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6242, 11.1.2008

  • Thailand Arrests and Returns 300 to 500 [illegal] Khmer Laborers per Day
  • French Government Provides €440,000 [approx. US$650,000] for Study on Lighting in Phnom Penh City
  • Cambodia and Japan Mark 55th Anniversary of Diplomatic Friendship Relations [9 January 1953 – 9 January 2008]
  • In 2007, Rubber Plantation Guards Shot Three Poor People Dead [who scavenged rubber – Kompong Cham]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3361, 11.1.2008

  • Swedish Parliamentarian Mr. Kent Harstedt Says Cambodia Is Corrupt, so Big Investors Do Not Dare to Come
  • Serious Corruption and Not Strictly Controlled Border Crossings May Make Cambodia a Heaven for Terrorists

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4486, 11.1.2008

  • Tens of Tonnes of Fish Secretly Exported from Stung Treng [to Laos] Each Month
  • China Prohibits Use of Plastic Bags [in attempt to reduce pollution of environment]
  • 151,000 Iraqis Have Died Since Invasion [in March 2003]

Go to last week’s editorial

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