More exemplars of China making friends, without any complicated conditions apparently. It's getting more and more apparent South-East Asia's place as an extension of China's strategic southern 'shield'.
Quotable Quotes - "China respects the political decisions of Cambodia...We have a mutual understanding and respect each other." Cambodia Premier Hun Sen.
Cambodia PM lauds China's aid
Source - Straits Times 15 September 2009
PHNOM PENH - CAMBODIA'S premier lauded China on Monday for providing billions of dollars of aid without imposing conditions, a subtle jibe at Western donors who seek curbs on human rights abuses and corruption.
'They are quiet, but at the same time they build bridges and roads, and there are no complicated conditions,' Prime Minister Hun Sen at a ceremony for the construction of a new bridge built with US$128 million (S$182.6 million) of Chinese aid.
Mr Hun Sen recently rejected World Bank aid intended for settling land disputes after the Washington-based institution and rights groups accused Cambodian authorities of forcibly evicting tens of thousands of people from their homes.
Speaking to about 1,000 villagers and China's ambassador in Prek Kdam, about 50 km (30 miles) north of the capital Phnom Phen, Mr Hun Sen said Beijing's aid had helped Cambodia become more independent while fostering social and economic development.
'China respects the political decisions of Cambodia,' he said. 'We have a mutual understanding and respect each other.' Cambodia's government has come under fire recently, accused of corruption and undermining the judiciary, although analysts say the investment environment is stable after decades of poverty, brutalilty and instability.
China is Cambodia's biggest aid donor, providing US$600 million in 2007 and about US$260 million in 2008. It also leads the country's foreign direct investment, with about US$1 billion spent in the war-scarred South-east Asian nation this year.
Mr Hun Sen added he also supported China's multimillion dollar investments in hydroelectric power. Western environmentalists have accused Cambodia of failing to provide adequate environmental safeguards for such projects. -- REUTERS