Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Inaugural Speech on the Inauguration of National Road 51, 37 Kilometers from Udong, connecting between National Road 5 and National Road 4 [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV: 25/03/2022

HE Economic Adviser, Representative of the Embassy and Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Samdech, Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Compatriots!
National Road 51 – One of Cambodia and China Relation Achievements

Today, we are very happy to come together to officially inaugurate National Road 51, which connects between National Road 5 and National Road 4 or between Kampong Speu’s Udong district and Kompong Speu’s Samraong Tong district. Before giving a speech on the program, let me ask where can I point to Trapeang Kong commune, Wat Kdei Lvea? […]

May our singers be ready to sing (my two songs) – “My Mother’s Inheritances” and another song of more or less similar content […] my mother loves Kdei Lvea pagoda very much. She helped build this pagoda. She has here a primary schools, secondary school and high school. My grandaunt and my cousin laid bodies here except for my mother […] we keep her grave in Phnom Penh.

Today, we jointly inaugurated this road, and HE Sun Chanthol has already made a report related to the operation of this road. His Excellency the Economic Adviser on behalf of Ambassador Wang Wentien also spoke about the achievements of Cambodia-China relations. Today, we have clearly seen the fruits of the achievements in the relationship between Cambodia and China – National Road 51.

National Road 51 – a Ring Road of Phnom Penh, Benefits to Transportation

National Road 51, which we have inaugurated today, can be considered as a ring road of Phnom Penh, which can provide benefits not only for the people in this area, but also for those who travel long distances. In shipping, example, travelers from Kampot, Takeo or Kampong Speu who needs to travel to Pursat or Battambang, without the need to travel through Phnom Penh, they can travel via national road 51, going straight to Udong, and connect to national road 5. On the other hand, those in Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang who want to travel to Sihanoukville to Kampot, Kep, do not have to go through Phnom Penh, they can travel through this national road 51 or national road 41. This is to facilitate the travel of our people, which can provide benefits for socio-economic sector […]

Road Construction Strategy Changed to Make It More Durable

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude through the (Chinese Embassy’s) Economic Adviser, who is here on behalf of the Ambassador, to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for always providing the necessary implementation of the projects we needed. As HE Sun Chanthol mentioned, I have also mentioned in the past how to build roads. In the 1990s, a little after 2000, we were still implementing “building long road with less money” strategies […] a thin layer of asphalt cannot withstand the overload […] not even normal weight transport. We are now switching from thin asphalt to bitumen to ensure long-lasting durability. We have started to expand (the road) from 7 meters to 12 meters now.

Many Countries and Financial Institutions Misjudge Cambodia’s Development

I have said that in the 1990s, many countries and financial institutions misjudged Cambodia’s development. Some countries and some financial institutions have (decided) to rebuild the road only seven meters or a maximum of 10 meters for us. Usually less than 10 meters. Even National Road 4, it is still seven meters for some sections. (They) misjudged the progress of Cambodia […] now (we have expanded) the roads which were formerly seven meters to 24 meters or 25 meters to solve the problem (of congestion). Nobody would have assumed that there is such a rapid development.

The World Calls for Peace

The world is now crying for peace. When there were yet problems, they did not talk about peace. They are talking only about democracy and human rights. For us, while we talked about democracy and human rights, we gave priority to peace. Without peace, there is no hope. There is no peace there is nothing, and no respect for human rights up to the point of abuse. When the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out, the people of Ukraine or the people of Russia or the people of Europe are scared. Ukraine is in a state of war that has forced millions of people to flee. Fleeing abroad and displacing within your own country.

European countries are also worried about the possibility of war expansion. Well, the president of Ukraine has said that peace is the highest priority of Ukraine at this time. This is the language that Hun Sen has always spoken that peace is the highest priority of Cambodia. My view is not a separate view of Cambodia alone. It is now clear that everyone needs peace first. Without peace, do not talk about the practice of democracy or respect for human rights. Respect for human rights and democracy would not be born under bombs and shells. Therefore, at all costs, Cambodia must strive to protect the peace we have so hard to find.

While There Is War, There Is Only Destruction

Now we are waiting to see how long the war between Russia and Ukraine and the confrontation between NATO and Russia will end. Looking at the tendencies, it is not going to happen as we pray. Despite repeated UN General Assembly resolutions and last night’s voting, the issue is not a matter of one or two days, but the consequences of the war in Ukraine would need a long time to resolve. The level of destruction is large and requires the clearance and destruction of landmines and unexploded ordnance. As in our country so far, we have not destroyed all landmines and unexploded ordnance. These are the points that I have kept talking without hesitation. There is nothing to be afraid to talk. It is easy to make war but it is difficult to extinguish it. I had to spend more than half of my life to end the flames of war in Cambodia. I am not the creator of the war, but it is as if an angel gave me the birth to extinguish the flames of war and maintain peace for Cambodia.

China Facilitates Imports from Cambodia

Today’s achievement came from the fruits of Cambodia-China cooperation. As the Economic Adviser, on behalf of the Ambassador, said on March 18, I had the opportunity to meet with President Xi Jinping by telephone. We discussed further cooperation. This includes the issue of trade facilitation when the trade agreement between Cambodia and China enters into force, while the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) enters into force too. Exports from Cambodia to China made with a lot of facilitation in terms of imports (goods) from Cambodia, such as rice has increased significantly in early 2022. In addition, other commodities that China buys are longan and trout […] we are opening our market with China. We are trying to open our markets with other countries by expanding our exports.

By 2022, Trade Volume Increases by More Than 30%

Cambodia’s export volume in the first two months of 2022 increased by more than 30% compared to the trade volume in 2021, in the same two months period […] we continue this step. Although Covid-19 blocked us, it could not hinder our development process especially projects built by the People’s Republic of China. We just delayed the inauguration. Now we have some inauguration. We are still building some other roads, such as National Road 10, without interruption. National Road 71, opened with the inauguration of the Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge between Stung Trang and Kroch Chhmar, is underway. Other projects are underway. This is our efforts and it is in the interest of all of us […]

Roads Brings about Other Infrastructural Developments

I would like to commend all the efforts and thank the people involved in building this road. I have traveled this road three times, including traveling in the former road condition. By comparison, usually in my car I can receive TV broadcast. BTV launched a drone to take pictures. We watched along the road. There were buildings, warehouses, and factories there. If there were no roads, there would be no factories, no warehouses, and no land (on sale) in that area. It would have retained the previous condition. When roads and bridges are here, they have made things easy. Maybe on the way back, I can stop for noodles at a shop in the road corner. I wanted a bowl. Eating alone is not delicious though. If I could make it, this is about time that the soup is very delicious […]

It has been my wish that for the next life, firstly, I do not wish go to heaven or to hell […] I am willing to be in the world of men. Why else would I go to the place of the angels since they also have the head of angels, the provincial governor, the district governor, and soldiers guarding the gates of angels. If so, why do we need to go there? Why do we not stay in the human world? It is not sure if the deity has noodles to eat […]

Secondly, maybe fate does not require me to be the Prime Minister anymore. The other day I was surprised to have learnt that the Prime Minister of Japan believed in fate […] fate requires us to do so. Believe some of it. Some people want to their deaths to be Prime Minister […] but they still cannot be […]

What I wanted from the beginning was to be a teacher. Later, I wanted to become a pilot because I was angry at those aircrafts that chased me in war. When it comes time to become disabled, despair, but the situation keeps pushing us to come to that place. I still remember in 1998, His Majesty the King (Norodom Sihanouk), at one of the negotiations in Siem Reap, said, “Your Excellency should have some belief in fate. Like me, I do not want to be a king, but suddenly they took me from Prey Nokor (Saigon) to be king. As for Samdech Hun Sen, it is written for him to be born the Prime Minister.” His Majesty said so in front of three political parties negotiating in Siem Reap […]

Elderly Rich in Experiences, Younger Folks Knowledgeable

I first became a minister at the age of 27 years old. Some older ministers called me “a minister who has not lost the smell of milk.” Later, those ministers were the voters that supported me to be the prime minister as they see how able I had shown in the youth framework. From then on, I said that when appointing people, it is not necessary to ask how old the person is or the person is too young (for the job), because in Cambodia there has been an experience that someone becomes a foreign minister at 27 years old and a Prime Minister at 32 years old. I have been a Prime Minister longer that half of my life now […]

Therefore, the preparation of officers to succeed is not necessary to ask how old they are. Most importantly is whether they can do the job or not. Children also need to understand their elderlies. Children are knowledgeable but lacking experience. The elderlies may lack knowledge but are rich in experience. It is a matter of combing them together. It is what we called a situation of mixture between all generations together. That is why in the CPP, there are officials who are 80 years old – we could label them U90, U80, U70, U60, U50 – or every generations. There are those in U40s too. Older people should not look down on inexperienced younger generation, while younger and educated generation should not look down on elder people, which is a resource and inherits experience in all work, especially when it comes to governing the country. Resources are valuable. By the way, I do not want people to ask for my opinion, when I retire.

I announced already that I will run (for the post of Prime Minister) until I stopped wanting to do it. That would not bother anyone […] the preparation (of successive generation) is underway […] they have to be prepared [….] in 2023, I will continue to be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the election, because this is what we need to continue, and as for when things change, let us wait until after the election. (The fact that I) continue is because we cannot be negligent with the peace work of the country. Once peace is lost, people would run stepping on each other’s feet […]

In War, Land Abandoned, In Peace, Land Price Up

As for the land and property is concerned, I see property on sales and a land property of 4 meters in width is also expensive. During the war, all the land abandoned, now all the land is going up in price […] it was because I make peace. Once the war extinguished, there was no fear anymore and everyone would go out wherever s/he wanted to. I am responsible for all of these, but my mistakes have benefited our people, benefited both the flesh and the blood because people do not have to die, injured, disabled, and they build the livelihood of each family. I have signed off release of cash to give to our civil servants, the armed forces and our retirees in preparation for the Khmer New Year. Please do not confuse with the posting on Facebook from years before […]

This year, there is no going back from celebrating the Khmer New Year. Of course, Laos has announced that it will not celebrate the New Year because of high number of infection […] Cambodia’s infection today is about 60 people […] yesterday, there were 62 cases and two deaths, but today there are only 50-60 cases […] Laos may not celebrate the New Year, but for us Cambodia, we will. (We have) community immunity […] that allows us to celebrate the New Year. I just ask people to be careful, to keep safe distance, to wash hands and to wear mask. I did not go anywhere. I clearly say now that I would rest in Kampong Som. Enjoying the sea for 3 days and 3 nights […] it is clear that Kampong Som will attract many because the Prime Minister is visiting […] a few years ago, I went to Siem Reap to visit Angkor Sankranta […]

Oil Prices Up – Consequences of Russia-Ukraine War

Look, during the Khmer New Year, how high would oil price would go. The price of oil is not manageable anymore. If Russia stops or what they called shutdown oil production for a while, nobody could have imagine what the oil market problem would be. The devastating effects of the Russia-Ukraine war are already affecting the world, and that is the oil prices. This year, the price of oil also reduces the happiness of the people to some extent, because it costs a lot of money to buy oil. That is the point related to peace. It is right there. The world is calling for peace and for a ceasefire. In my opinion, when it comes to war, each side is probably ready for nuclear. If it explodes in Europe, the people of Europe will be the first victims and/or from radiation. Asia is maybe a little farther, but the impact is huge […]

Reminding Officials of Fishing Lots Reform, Getting Ready for the Year of Tiger

You may have heard and re-heard the direction of the total reform on fishing lot. There is nothing wrong with replaying my statement (about the fishing lot abolition). When I do not recall, it seemed they forget. When the Prime Minister reminded, they get back to get things done again […] we have documents but the institutions forgot to use them. In fact, we should make copies in print as the one we did about the land demarcation between Cambodia and Vietnam […] in fact, the Ministry of Information has all the work, Quick Reactions Unit also has the said documents and posted on YouTube. They can download it and watch whenever they want. National TV posted and all channels have it […]

This year we pass from the year of Ox to the year of Tiger. Let us hope that next year’s Tigers are not ferocious. Now, in a few days, we will get to the year of Tiger. After Tiger, we will get to Rabbit. After the Rabbit, we will get to Dragon. Dragon, my year. I am compatible with every year because I am the year of the god dragon. For the Khmer New Year this year, I am asking concerned security institutions to work out safe local security, and let our people enjoy. Provinces and localities must be prepared from now on. In terms of tourism, it is necessary to be prepared […] because there are many people to visit local sites […]./.