PHNOM PENH (FN), Feb. 5 — Prime Minister Hun Sen, known as Cambodia’s strong man, once again emphasized that his country applies independent foreign policy, meaning that Cambodia is not submissive to any other country; an approach he said would end up driving Cambodia into civil wars and destruction once again.

Addressing the audience of a graduation ceremony of the National University of Management on Feb. 5, the premier said that Cambodia’s independent foreign policy has been applied since he was 27-year old and became Foreign Minister. “Without independent foreign policy, Cambodia would not be able to survive similar disaster it has experienced in the past,” said the premier. 

Apparently in reference to comments made by some analysts that he had sent Foreign Minister Hor Namhong to China out of concern that China might be unsatisfied with Cambodia hosting the recent visit of the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the premier emphasized that as an independent and sovereign country, Cambodia is a friend of both the U.S. and China and did not need to report to either country before it takes any action.

The premier said that Secretary of State John Kerry did not come to tell Cambodia to choose between the U.S. and China.

The premier said that at the meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Jan. 26, he told his visitor that he was very much unhappy to hear that because Cambodia was taking side with China that a joint statement on COC could not be produced during the ASEAN summit meeting in 2012 that Cambodia was hosting. He also said he had told Kerry that it was time that the U.S. should be fair to Cambodia in regard of the South China Issues.

“Please do not put fuel on the fire! Let’s the parties in conflict talk and solve their problems,” the premier concluded.