Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen​ at the Ground-breaking Ceremony to Build the Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge at Stoeung Trang and Kroch Chhma [Unofficial Translation]


The Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge between Stoeng Trang and Kroch Chhma

I am so happy to return to my native place once again to launch the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of what will be the Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge between Stoeng Trang and Kroch Chhma, the 8th bridge co-financed by the People’s Republic of China and the Kingdom of Cambodia […] we need at least three more bridges. The first of the three will be for linking Kratie province and Kompong Thom province over the Mekong. The second and third bridges will also be over the Mekong at Jroy Jangva and Svay Jrum and at Kdey Takoy. We also think of building more bridges along the river’s streams and/or canals […]

I am so happy because the project that I have mentioned last time has now realized. Though we have set a long schedule for the construction of the bridge, normally we finished it prior to the set date. People in Kompong Cham and whoever will need to come across this area will surely benefit from the presence of this bridge, which should be ready before the Khmer New Year in 2021 […] here in this section are people from my village and my relatives. Many of them know me from my childhood. Some also were soldiers when I joined the struggle movement invaders on the other side (of the river). Who could have imagined that a young boy who used to cross the river by boat in this area, and ferry at Tonle Bet, Prek Kadam, and Nak Loeung, has now become the country’s leader who built so many bridges. Fate is unpredictable. I never wished anything more than just becoming a humble teacher. A man who did not wish for power has had to do it and not for short time but for 39 years, of which 33 years as Prime Minister.

Constitution Limits No Age for Politicians

Someone had said yesterday that “let politicians limit political activities to the age of 65 altogether.” How could a man in jail challenge an incumbent Prime Minister to step down? There is no law to forbid me from staying on. They may look at rights to politics in the Constitution. They talked about limiting political activities at the age of 65 and not beyond […] I do not wish to talk with such a man or on nonsense issue. To be frank, someone is older than I am and wished to be Prime Minister […] the issue here is that he may be clever but not capable enough to lead the country […]

Has he ever thought that because I was not that naïve that I could stay for nearly 40 years in power. It is even more than 40 years if the phase of national liberation is included. There is one thing I must remind him though. In about fifteen years ago, he made it his topic of electoral campaign “while there is Mr. Sen, there won’t be Mr. Si, and vice versa.” I think we have now come to what he had wished. There is now me, and you are not. I think this has happened according to his wish.

60th Anniversary of Cambodia-China Diplomatic Relations

In their speech, HE Xiong Bo, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China and Minister of Transports and Public Works, HE Sun Chanthol, reminded of the 60th anniversary of the Cambodian-Chinese diplomatic relations established by Samdech Preah Borom Ratanakaod and Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai. At the time Cambodia was in difficulties and China had not been yet a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Taiwan was. However, HM the King Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk appealed to the United Nations to recognize (the People’s Republic of) China as the sole representative of China. That was an historic turning point for us younger generation to continue to foster. It was not a mistake to have hold hands with the People’s Republic of China.

One China Policy – Respect of Own Independence and Sovereignty

We are continuing policy of Samdech Preah Borom Ratanakaod Preah Norodom Sihanouk. Currently, HM the King, son of Samdech Preah Borom Ratanakaod continues his leadership together with the Royal Government in the implementation of the One-China policy. Implementing the One-China policy is tantamount to respecting Cambodian own independence and sovereignty. I always said that in China, there are numerous issues like Taiwan, Tibet, etc. I also made it a point that respecting the One-China policy is like respecting our own sovereignty. We may ask a question and think if China supports anyone country to secede Koh Kong or anyone province from Cambodia, what would be our reaction? We would be in rage. What would China do, if we establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan and not with the People’s Republic of China? They would not be happy.

It is in this understanding that we must respect mutual independence and sovereignty. Let me be clear on that as the Chinese New Year is approaching. We do not allow Taiwan to have its office of representation and to raise its flag in Cambodia, but we are not hindering any business relations with the investors from Taiwan. That would include also flight between Taiwan and Cambodia, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. We have normal business relation.

We planted and nurtured our relations in the past 60 years, or when I was five or six years old. It has now grown to 60 years. In 2010, our strategic partnership has grown when President Xi Jinping visited Cambodia in 2016, and my visit to China in 2017. The Chinese Premier also visited Cambodia in early January this year. These have promoted further our comprehensive strategic relations, by which Cambodia and China have been working together to ensure it, and through these relations, Cambodia’s development depends one part on the People’s Republic of China. It is in this note that we Cambodians wish China to make even higher progress […]

Welcoming Chinese Tourists

When I attended an international conference back in 2001, before accession to the World Trade Organization, there was a question addressed to me – whether I had any concern about Chinese influence. My answer was straightforward should we welcome Chinese tourists or Chinese refugees […] history has clearly shown that when China encountered foreign invasion, turmoil, many Chinese fled the country, and some of them to countries in Southeast Asia […]

As of present, 1.2 million Chinese tourists has made their arrivals, a figure closer to my wish to have 0.01% Chinese tourists of their population. Many Chinese air companies conduct businesses in Cambodia and there are Cambodian air companies conducting flights to many Chinese provinces too. That we have received 1.2 million Chinese tourists we have earned a lot from visas fees […] if China were a poor country, and there were some thirty million of them fleeing the country, what would be the problem? At present, China is able to provide for its 1,350 million population and to contribute to the developments of other countries too.

Thank “The New York Times” Reporter for Coming to Home Town

… We have to have a good knowledge of geopolitics and to design a policy responding positively to foreign relations. Some have criticized me for being too close to China. I asked them a question when they said so. Have they offered us anything besides insulting me, threatening me? The New York Times reporter here has followed me to my meeting with workers. He took so many pictures. Today he is here with me in my birthplace. Let us wait and see what he is going to write about us. I do not know if there is going to be any more “fake news.” Well, President Donald Trump gave some media outlets – CNN, the New York Times, etc. an award of fake news. As he is taking us so many pictures, wish that he will run them all, not a selectively few of bad ones. I thank you so much for coming to my hometown.

Working with China Is Mutual Respect, with Some Is Bullying

… Relating to policy in general, it is not only Cambodia but also the whole of ASEAN and many other countries, including New Zealand, which is close to the United States is also looking for loans from China. China made progress and can help other countries. For countries that accuse Hun Sen being close to China may ask themselves what have they given us? However, we wish to be friend with them. Making friend with them is hard, though. I told them frankly too that to make friend with them was hard and they said I was too close to China. (What can we do, when) working with China is smooth and equal. Some countries have their ambassadors admonished us as if we were kids. I could not take it. I have respects from not only ambassador, but also the President and Premier (of China). I need equality. It should not be about sizes and/or status […]

Relating to what we are doing today here, would we have this ceremony and/or the eight bridges so far, should we have no good relation with China? I wanted to be partner to every country … we have bridges over the Mekong because of assistance from Japan, from China, and ourselves. Why did they make noise and intimidate us about cutting off assistance? […] Some threatened to cut off their assistances. I invited them to do so. They dare not do it. Why? Because they would cut off assistances to some NGOs […] it is true that Cambodia needs NGO’s help but some of them have been acting as spies of foreign countries […]

[…] No one would be able to hinder our development. Many countries wish to destroy China, and they could not […] as many Chinese investors come to Cambodia, they stirred up (negative) opinions about it. The Chinese Ambassador had had to come out and talk about it in a press conference. In fact, those circles are envious with the Chinese for conducting businesses in Cambodia, while they did not. They accuse China of clouding us. I listen to no one’s order. We have cooperation on equal right and footing. I hope our people will benefit from infrastructures in the time to come […]

Make No Propaganda for the Senate Elections

Tomorrow, the Senate election campaign will start. I have already affirm to the National Elections Committee that I am not a candidate for the Senate and I do not help to campaign them. However, I continue to meet with workers in my capacity as Prime Minister of the Royal Government. I will continue to give out help and gifts […] the electoral college are members of the communal councilors, etc. Candidates will have to go see them. It is up to the candidates. As for me, I have so many programs to cover. I still have five more programs with the Chinese Ambassador […]

Measures on Overloaded and Modified Trucks

Traffic accidents in our country cause frequently by heavy trucks. I am issuing a stern order here. Companies with overloaded trucks should convene to discuss this matter. If we stop trucks with overloading capacity, we will proceed to closing its company […] Secondly, it is about modified trucks. As of zero hour tonight, there must not be modified trucks in the roads. If modified trucks are mobile in any provinces or districts, governors of provinces and/or districts are to be responsible. We must stop and keep them in one place. We will ask owners to re-modify them. I will follow it up […] from this time on, there will be more than ten hours for them change their schedules […] whoever set them free will be punishable. People may come in and comment in my Facebook page and tell me where and who – district governor and/or police set them free. I will follow it up. The Land Traffic Safety Committee issued orders but failed to get their attention and respect. That we stop and place those trucks in a confined place would lose the jobs for drivers and their companies. However, we are guaranteeing safety for people living and traveling along the road. We also will ensure that they will not overload their trucks leading to damaging our roads too […]

Three Prime Ministers from Stoeng Trang

The district of Stoeng Trang provided Cambodia with three Prime Ministers – In Tam, Hang Thunhak, both are republicans and overthrew Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, and me – Hun Sen. More Prime Ministers have come from the district of Stoeng Trang than anywhere else in the country. In Tam was Prime Minister for two years. Hang Thunhak was killed by Pol Pot. In Tam died in the US. They worked with Preah Karuna (Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk) but later collaborated with foreigners to overthrow him. My story was different. When those people launched the coup, Preah Karuna called on people to report to the Marquis. I went along with other people and survived. I lost one eye and wounded five times more though. However, my health is still great. Some see that I am losing weight. It was not because I was ill but I exercised to lower it […]./.