By Sun Narin
North Korea, which is considered as the enemy of the United, but the ally of China, has recently pushed the robust trade with Cambodia particularly in agriculture after North Korean Deputy Trade Minister Ri Myong San met with Cambodian Foreign Minster Hor Namhong.
Can Cambodia be in the middle?
The Cambodia’s government has now the tendency to China, always following China. China has become the largest investors and international aid to Cambodia. China has been considered as the old friend and the sibling with Cambodia.
Former King Norodom is now staying in China and he also maintained a close personal relationship with North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung and often travelled to North Korea for stays at a palace in the capital, Pyongyang.
In August, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Cambodia in order to improve the relations with the small country like Cambodia.
In response, Cambodia has supported Iran and Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told the reporters that “To impose sanctions against Iran is not a solution,” and he advised “negotiations and engagement” instead.
“There is no doubt that Iran’s growing isolation, resulting from the force of UN sanctions, is behind Iran’s push to improve relations with Cambodia and other willing states,” says Alon Ben-Meir of the Center for Global Affairs at New York University. In June 2010, the United Nations, European Union, and United States all passed sanctions in an effort to target Iran’s uranium-enrichment program.
China’s rapidly increasing investment in Cambodian industry has led to closer ties between the two countries; while relations with the US have been frustrated by America’s refusal to erase the “dirty debt” that Cambodia incurred during Lon Nol’s regime. While the future is uncertain, there is no doubt that both countries will continue to promote their own brand of progress in the Kingdom and around the world.
Since the famed Chinese diplomat Zhou Daguan made his well-documented trips to Cambodia late in the 13th century, Cambodia and China have maintained bittersweet relations, with China often taking the upper hand. Continued…….