Phnom Penh (FN), May 16 – Cambodian Senate President, Samdech Techo Hun Sen stated that those who claimed the Funan Techo Canal would be used to mobilise the navy were weak in strategic planning and unworthy of being considered intellectuals or researchers.

The senate president spoke on Thursday (May 16) in a special message related to the Funan Techo Canal.

"I think it would be a shame for anyone to come up with such an idea for a warship. Even if the Mekong River in the past was 1,000 meters, 1,500 meters, or at least 800 meters wide, [the warships] can still be shot down. Not to mention a small canal that is only 100 meters wide upstream and 80 meters downstream, with a depth of only 4-5 meters. So, is there really a need for the mobilisation of the navy?" the senate president underscored.

On 6 April 2024, The Straits Times, headquartered in Singapore, published an article titled "Vietnamese concerned that canal project in Cambodia could be potential gateway for Chinese forces". The article quoted the researchers from a Viet Nam state-backed institute, who warned that the canal is a “dual-use” project that promoting socioeconomic development could also facilitate Chinese military presence deep in Cambodian territory near Viet Nam’s rump. Sam Rainsy and the opposition group also support Viet Nam’s argument.

In response, Samdech Techo added, "You are not eligible to be an intellectual or a researcher in strategy. Not to mention the strategy of an army officer or commander—even the guerrilla tactics is beyond you. I truly underestimate your ability."