China’s top diplomat in Cambodia has dismissed criticism from Western governments over Prime Minister Hun Sen’s regime and its ties to Beijing, amid concerns over reversals of democracy following a general election widely seen as unfree and unfair and a wider crackdown on civil society.
Wang Wentian, the newly appointed Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, met with Hun Sen on Friday at the Council of Ministers building in the capital Phnom Penh, after which the prime minister posted a message to his Facebook page saying Wang had pledged to “bolster relations for the sake of people” and referring to ties between the countries as “forged in steel.”
The meeting followed one between Wang and Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn on Dec. 25, during which the two pledged to further improve bilateral relations and the Chinese diplomat expressed Beijing’s “strong support” for Hun Sen’s government, according to a statement issued Thursday by Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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