Indonesia and Malaysia, two of ASEAN's founders, criticized the Cambodian prime minister’s controversial trip to crisis-ridden Myanmar last week, with Kuala Lumpur’s top diplomat saying Hun Sen should have consulted other members of the bloc first. General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of the ruling State Administration Council (SAC) of Myanmar, declared a five-month ceasefire when meeting with visiting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Nay Pyi Taw on January 7. Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. Cambodia postponed the first ASEAN meeting under its 2022 chairmanship, the government said, amid reports of differences among the bloc’s members over Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Myanmar last week where he did not meet democracy leaders.
China has announced its support for Cambodia, the Chair of ASEAN in 2022, to resolve the issue in Myanmar.
The United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Asia, Amanda Milling, said that the UK wants Cambodia’s engagement with Myanmar’s junta to remain strictly in line with ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus with inclusive process. She is committed to working closely with Cambodia to address the region’s biggest challenges, while also discussing human rights and meeting with former opposition leader Kem Sokha on her two-day visit.
The UN and ASEAN special envoys to Myanmar, and the Southeast Asian bloc’s chair have all pledged to work together on the emergency de-escalation of violence in the crisis-stricken nation and for the provision of humanitarian aid to its people.
The US Departments of State and Commerce had reportedly amended their regulations to strengthen US export controls targeting Cambodia on December 9, 2021.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to use his powers to ensure the immediate release of NagaWorld trade union activists following their arrest on “conspiracy” charges – a matter officials said must be resolved through the courts.
The Japanese government has provided $185 million in loans to Cambodia through its Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the fight against Covid-19 and subsequent economic recovery efforts.
Three companies from China and one from India are expected to open gold refineries in Cambodia during 2022, said Ung Dipola, deputy director-general of the General Department of Mineral Resources at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Since July 2019, USAID Greening Prey Lang has awarded nearly $2.8 million through 17 grants to private companies and non-governmental organisations to protect biodiversity and improve livelihoods in many wildlife sanctuaries, protected areas and heritage parks in the Kingdom.