Cambodia takes a hard right, lands in China’s arms – China’s latest political and current affairs news

“Descent into outright dictatorship,” read the last headline of the Cambodia Daily on September 4, as the 24-year-old cornerstone of the country’s struggling free press shut down its printers amid a legal dispute with the government. The ruling government of Prime Minister Hun Sen had just arrested the leader of the main opposition party, Kem Sokha, on charges of treason that the U.S., the EU, and international human rights organizations consider politically motivated, Reuters says. The New York Times also quotes (paywall) an official at Human Rights Watch in Asia who called the arrest “a disastrous setback for Cambodia’s human rights situation.”

China, however, was just fine with this outcome. Reuters reports:

When asked about Kem Sokha’s arrest at a press briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China “supports the Cambodian government’s efforts to protect national security and stability.”

Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company’s newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.