CPP President: Do Not Use South China Sea Issue as Bargaining Tool in Regional or International Meetings

Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, President of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP)-cum-Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has appealed to concerned countries and those with attention given to South China Sea dispute to stop using the issue as bargaining tool or hostage in regional and international meetings for the results in recent years have been divisive.

"Cambodia had again and again become victim of South China Sea issue because of unjust accusations, and hopes that in the coming time, if the South China Sea issue is not going to be brought up for disturbance or as obstacle to regional and international meetings of senior officials through to heads of state/government results of those meetings and solidarity spirit will improve. More so, there will be no declaration of attack or placing false on one another," said Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the celebration of the CPP's 65th founding anniversary held here yesterday.

Moreover, Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed the CPP's disagreement with any declaration by ASEAN to support decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in relation to the South China Sea dispute, which some countries outside the region have wire-pulled and pressured ASEAN members even before the court reaches a decision because, he explained, such efforts to mobilise forces against China would bring negative impacts on ASEAN and peace in the region.

"CPP regards the South China Sea issue as matters between countries concerned on sovereignty, and not ones between ASEAN and China. In this meaning, CPP appeals to every concerned countries to resolve their issues peacefully together. Only countries concerned will be able to resolve this problem. ASEAN is not able to work on behalf of those countries concerned," he added.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen recalled the ASEAN-China mechanism to resolve issues through the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed in Phnom Penh in 2002 and called on all concerned parties to implement justly the spirit of DOC, while ASEAN and China work together to achieve a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

"CPP believes that some disagreements among ASEAN members on South China Sea issue symbolise no division of ASEAN. ASEAN has so much more works to do than only the South China Sea issue," underlined the CPP president.

Source: AKP