People ride rickshaws, locally known as "cyclo", along a street near the the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 16 February 2024. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

BRI's Funan Techo Canal could steer Cambodia away from Vietnam and towards China

Cambodia’s push to build Techo Canal, a waterway linking the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to its coastal province Kep, means cargo ships may bypass the Vietnamese port of Cai Mep. Cambodian commentator Sokvy Rim weighs up the impacts of such a prospect.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida presents Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Manet with a Cambodian commemorative silver coin made at the Japanese Mint to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on 18 December 2023. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Reuters)

Cambodia and Japan: Firm friends amid great power rivalry

Cambodia and Japan have elevated their bilateral ties and both sides have room to delve deeper into strategic matters such as maritime security, a priority both countries have emphasised. But this is not without challenges, given different positions in the ensuing China-US rivalry.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger listens while he is introduced at a ceremony honouring his diplomatic career on 9 May 2016 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

Why China ignores the dark side of Kissinger’s diplomacy

While lauded as a great diplomat, Henry Kissinger’s contributions were marked with controversies, notably in relation to Cambodia, Bangladesh and Chile. Commentator Jin Jianguo looks back at Kissinger's legacy from the prism of historical violence and injustice, and opines on why China's leadership portrays him as a "friend".
Thai police standing in front of some Thai nationals allegedly enslaved by scam gangs based in Cambodia. This picture was taken in Cambodia. (Tan Hui Yee/SPH Media)

[Big read] Are Chinese tourists targeted by scam syndicates in Southeast Asia?

Lianhe Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim steps into the world of scam syndicates and scam hubs in Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar, which is one centre of activity. How can the authorities clean up the industry so that tourists — especially from China — will return and boost the recovery of the tourism industry?
A man rides a cart past chinese shops and restaurants in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 15 September 2023. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

Chinese in the crosshairs of ‘mushrooming’ transnational cybercrime

Cybercrime scams and the related kidnappings have exploded since 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn fuelled the number of such crimes, including fake online romantic ploys, bogus investment pitches and illegal gambling schemes. Scam centres were concentrated in Cambodia, but have now been found in Laos and Myanmar, and at least four other Asian countries have become human trafficking hubs.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Manet poses for pictures, as he attends an event to meet with garment workers on his first public appearance since taking office, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 29 August 2023. (Cindy Liu/Reuters)

Cambodia’s foreign policy under new Prime Minister Hun Manet

Hun Manet, son of Hun Sen, has been named Cambodia’s new prime minister in August. While Cambodia has maintained a close relationship with China during Hun Sen’s rule, how will its new leader negotiate the nation’s foreign relations amid great power rivalry? Cambodian commentator Rim Sokvy says even if the new leadership wants to align more with the West, and improve the transparency and accountability of the nation's bureaucratic system, the current state of domestic politics could hold it back from doing so.
Supporters of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) attend an election campaign for the upcoming national election in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 1 July 2023. (Cindy Liu/Reuters)

What is China's role in Cambodia’s upcoming election?

The US’s previous approach of pressuring Cambodia on improving its processes for democratic elections only pushed Cambodia closer to China, says Cambodian researcher Sokvy Rim. Now, with the ruling party dominating politics, the US and the West’s impact looks set to be further diminished. Will China’s influence further increase?
A Ukrainian soldier of the 10th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade "Edelweiss" prepares to fire a French MO-120-RT61 mortar towards Russian positions at a front line in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on 4 March 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP)

Why China's close ally Cambodia is a staunch supporter of Ukraine

While China appears to be getting further embroiled in the Russia-Ukraine war on the side of Russia and may seek to influence close ally Cambodia to follow suit, the latter does not seem to be easily swayed.
People walk and ride their bicycles in Jakarta, Indonesia, 20 November 2022. (Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

'Perfect storm': Indonesia's opportunities in a world in crisis

Taking an overview of global megatrends, including rising inflation, changes to business valuation and the race for technological supremacy, Indonesian business magnate Ang Tjoen Ming (Tahir) sieves out opportunities for Indonesia, and ways forward that could see it becoming one of the world’s seven largest economies in the next ten years.