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Updated March 21st, 2022 at 09:29 IST

Cambodia, Japan reaffirm cooperation against China's maritime actions in South China Sea

Cambodian PM Hun Sen met with Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on Sunday and agreed to cooperate with Tokyo against China's maritime activities in the SCS.

Dipaneeta Das
Japan
IMAGE: AP | Image:self
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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on Sunday and agreed to cooperate with Tokyo against China's maritime activities in the South China Sea (SCS). The leaders also discussed North Korea's aggravated missile tests and shared mutual concern against it. Kishida also appreciated Cambodia's efforts to break the deadlock in Myanmar, NHK World reported.

The leaders also discussed the bilateral security situation in the wake of escalated Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific region. They also talked about strengthening relations in fields covering trade, investment, education, infrastructure, defence and security, and post-pandemic recovery, Cambodian officials informed. In addition, PM Sen also reaffirmed Cambodian commitment to supporting Japan in security and international order.

Cambodia & Japan agree to bolster cooperation against China and NK

In the meeting held in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, Kishida raised concerns over China's assertive activities in the South and the East China Sea, where south-east Asian nations like Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia face regular infringement of regional security by Beijing.

Notably, China's new coercive behaviours have been accompanied by a rapid administrative buildup comprising increasing numbers of patrols in the South China Sea, which is deemed as a massive threat to the strategic Indi-Pacific trade corridor. Moreover, from late 2013, Beijing has also advanced the construction of massive artificial islands on six reefs in the Spratly Archipelago, escalating threat to regional security in South-East Asian islands countries.

Meanwhile, North Korea has also remained a cause of concern for Japan after Pyongyang escalated its ballistic missile test over time despite being banned from conducting such activity, including tests of any range, by a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions

Japan and China are major donors to Cambodia

It is to mention that, China is one of the major donors in Cambodia, which is followed by Japan. Tokyo has backed large infrastructural developments and construction of bridges across the Mekong River and concrete roads linking to Phnom Penh with other provinces. Japan alongside the US has also remained concerned over Beijing's new investments at the Cambodian Ream Naval Base, increasing potential military operations and future base rights. The naval base faced the Gulf of Thailand, adjacent to the South China Sea, where Beijing has attempted to suppress it's neighbouring island nations.

Prior to his visit to Cambodia, PM Kishida was in India to bolster bilateral relations between the nations on March 19. Both the leaders held an extensive and productive discussion on economic growth and development with Japan announcing an investment of 5 million ten in India over the next 5 years. In the bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japan also underscored climate change, clean energy, infrastructure development, and cultural cooperation.

(Image: AP)

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Published March 21st, 2022 at 09:29 IST

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