Articles from 2017

The drive to recentralize Vietnam
(December 31, 2017 – The Asia Times)
The Communist Party is reasserting central command in a reversal of the doi moi reforms that allowed for free markets and limited local democracy

COLUMN: Drinking in Hanoi: Alcohol and Politics in Vietnam
(December 27, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A very short history of alcohol and politics in Vietnam.

How democracy died in Cambodia
(December 25, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Premier Hun Sen sated his autocratic tendencies in 2017 by dissolving the opposition, but his nation’s political future is still wholly undecided

COLUMN: Aung San Suu Kyi: Culpable of ‘Genocide’?
(December 19, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Will the international community contend with Aung San Suu Kyi’s culpability for the violence in Rakhine State?

COLUMN: What Would Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Mean for Southeast Asia?
(December 16, 2017 – The Diplomat)
As rumors swirl about Rex Tillerson’s potential departure, a look at what one of his replacements might mean for the subregion.

China’s aid a matter of life and death for Laos
(December 12, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Laos aims to implement universal health care to shore up its grass roots legitimacy, but needs Beijing’s assistance to deliver the medical goods

Gopal Baratham: “Orwell of the Orient”
(December 9, 2017 – New Mandala)
The novelist’s work remains a useful window on the politics of freedom of (and from) speech in Singapore.

So long, US; howdy, Russia
(December 7, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Cambodian PM Hun Sen has warmly welcomed Moscow’s overtures as Western nations threaten sanctions on his anti-democratic crackdown

COLUMN: The Eternal Win-Wins of Hun Sen’s Power in Cambodia
(December 6, 2017 – The Diplomat)
There is some remarkable continuity in the rhetoric that the ruling party has adopted to sustain its legitimacy.

How deep is Vietnam’s rot?
(December 5, 2017 – The Asia Times)
An anti-corruption drive aims to burnish the Communist Party’s image, settle political scores and attract foreign investors


COLUMN: Is Cambodia’s Opposition a Victim of its Own Success?
(November 22, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The CNRP inspired people to believe their votes count even in a system where this was always unlikely to be the case.

Is Hun Sen secretly insecure?
(November 27, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Leaked tapes reveal Cambodia’s combative ruler may be having second thoughts on a no-contest election

COLUMN: Where Are Southeast Asia’s Loyal Oppositions?
(November 22, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A closer look at opposition dynamics at play in the subregion.

Hun Sen bids to buy a no-contest election
(November 21, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Cambodia’s leader is delivering cash handouts and making populist pledges to win supporters of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party

Will US, EU turn the heat on Hun Sen?
(November 19, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Momentum mounting in Washington and Brussels to sanction Cambodia’s anti-democratic crackdown, with measures likely to hit the crucial garment industry

Cambodia bids farewell to democracy
(November 16, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Supreme Court rules to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, effectively making premier Hun Sen ruler of a one party state

Rhetorical birth of an anti-China bulwark
(November 13, 2017 – The Asia Times)
US leader Donald Trump’s repeated use of “Indo-Pacific” over “Asia-Pacific” on his Asian tour signals a new quadrilateral plan to counter China’s regional ambitions

Swing and another miss for TPP
(November 11, 2017 – The Asia Times)
While leaders assembled at APEC said the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s remaining 11 signatories now agree on “core principles”, a final trade-promoting deal is still nowhere in sight

The Vietnam Trump refuses to see
(November 1o, 2017 – The Asia Times)
While the US leader is expected to focus on economics and eschew rights and democracy at meetings with communist leaders, the reality is the issues are fast converging

Nguyen Phu Trong: The Elitist
(November 09, 2017 – New Mandala)
Putting Vietnam’s apparatchik-in-chief in his historical context.

US-Vietnam still in a tentative embrace
(November 08, 2017 – The Asia Times)
US President Donald Trump’s trip to Vietnam to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit is expected to focus largely on bilateral trade and security issues

Will Trump take a stand on Southeast Asia?
(November 08, 2017 – The Asia Times)
US leader’s visits to Da Nang, Hanoi and Manila will provide a platform to reassure regional leaders his government is committed to a region where China has stolen a march

Heavy debt load in Laos
(November 04, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Slowing economic growth and mounting financial obligations have the communist country’s foreign debt distress risk running on high

Down and out in Vietnam
(November 04, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Depression, suicide and alcoholism are all on the rise as urbanization, job competition and failed expectations take a collective toll on the nation’s mental health

COLUMN: Was the Indonesian Military Chief’s US Flight Incident a Political Stunt?
(November 02, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Irrespective of what actually occurred, the incident holds significance for the country’s domestic politics.


Cambodia clampdown threatens Chinese interests
(October 30, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Western trade sanctions imposed against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s political clampdown would tangentially hit China’s substantial investments in the country

COLUMN: Why the Return of Partisanship in Timor-Leste is a Good Thing
(October 19, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Opposition has an important role to play in the young country’s ongoing political development.

COLUMN: A New Drug Win for Malaysia?
(October 11, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The country could be taking a step forward soon in the region’s continuing struggle with drugs.

Are Malaysia’s elections a foregone Najib win?
(October 06, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Anticipated snap polls are delayed as ruling UMNO government strategically allows time for the opposition Harapan coalition to gradually implode

COLUMN: Will Vietnam Grow Old Before it Gets Rich?
(October 02, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A closer look at the country’s aging population and what that means.

Vietnam grapples with a wild and wooly web
(October 03, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Social media use has exploded in the communist nation, breaking the regime’s control of news and placing it on a counter cyber-offensive


China’s largesse abets Cambodia’s clampdown
(September 26, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Prime Minister Hun Sen has leveraged Beijing’s rich support to rout the political opposition and repudiate the US and EU, previously his government’s biggest financial supporters

COLUMN: Is Cambodia Really Becoming a Dictatorship?
(September 22, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Despite troubling developments, a little more optimism is warranted as the Cambodian people get ready to go to the polls.

A purge too far in Vietnam?
(September 21, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Communist Party head Nguyen Phu Trong’s anti-graft drive has unsettled the country’s usually sedate one-party politics and exposed deep rot in the opaque banking system

Cambodian paper’s demise bad for business
(September 12, 2017 – The Asia Times)
The Cambodia Daily newspaper’s closure on arbitrary and punitive tax evasion charges has significantly raised the volatile country’s regulatory risk profile

Green resistance mounts in communist Vietnam
(September 10, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Environmental causes have unified Vietnamese social activists across geography, class and ideals, a politically potent convergence the ruling Communist Party is struggling to stop

COLUMN: Could the End of Cambodia’s Opposition Be a Good Thing?
(September 08, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A closer look at the implications of the ongoing government crackdown in the Southeast Asian state ahead of upcoming polls.

Death knell to Cambodian democracy
(September 04, 2017 – The Asia Times)
The arrest of opposition leader Kem Sokha on treason accusations aims to hobble, if not destroy, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party ahead of next year’s elections

COLUMN: Cambodia’s Worrying War on Free Speech
(September 02, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The Hun Sen government is attempting to do through legal means what it had once done through violence.


Cambodian clampdown yields a deafening silence
(August 29, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s assault on civil society groups has put the rival Cambodian National Rescue Party at a reticent disadvantage ahead of next year’s elections

Anti-Western barbs stick in Cambodia
(August 25, 2017 – The Asia Times)
Prime Minister Hun Sen has ramped up jingoistic rhetoric against the US and Europe, a calculated lurch towards nationalism ahead of next year’s elections.

Cambodia clampdown, taking cues from China, targets US
(August 25, 2017 – The Asia Times)
A government assault on American interests, including this week’s expulsion of the National Democratic Institute, mirrors anti-democratic tactics used by other global authoritarian regimes

COLUMN: Beware the War Against ASEAN’s Atheists
(August 19, 2017 – The Diplomat)
There is one “minority” that knows no borders, isn’t divided by race or gender, and yet still faces persecution across the world: atheists.

East Timor’s “Red Rosa”
(August 18, 2017 – New Mandala)
“They [the Indonesian soldiers] were dragging women on to the barges. One woman wouldn’t go. She was Muki… Small, intense, very Timorese, the Portuguese called her “the petite revolutionary” and “Rosa Luxemburg” for her contribution to the talks. When she resisted the Indonesians she was shot on the wharf and her body thrown into the harbour.”

Why India Takes A Backseat To China In Media Coverage
(August 18, 2017 – Forbes)
The feeling that India gets overlooked by Europe, including by the continent’s media, is not unfounded, especially when compared to the coverage China receives.

What French President Macron’s Dispute With Chinese Trade Could Mean For Asia
(August 17, 2017 – Forbes)
Former president François Hollande expanded France’s ties with the Asia-Pacific. But will Emmanuel Macron now focus solely on China?

Chinese Muslim Dissidents Remain Protected In EU, But For How Long?
(August 16, 2017 – Forbes)
The recent detention of a prominent Uyghur activist in Italy last month has raised questions of whether Europe is also bowing to Beijing’s demands.

What’s behind Cambodia-Laos’ border flare-up?
(August 14, 2017 – The Asia Times)
A military standoff appears to have been defused, but the political and economic drivers behind the long-standing dispute have not been resolved

Nameless, faceless leadership for Ho Chi Minh City
(August 13, 2017 – The Asia Times)
The rise of Nguyen Thien Nhan, an unexceptional apparatchik, to lead Vietnam’s economic and financial hub points to unresolved intra-party divisions and a return to more passive governance

How A Kidnapping In Berlin Could Bring Down Vietnam’s FTA With Europe
(August 11, 2017 – Forbes)
Trinh Xuan Thanh was kidnapped by the Vietnamese secret service in the heart of Berlin last month is scenes that resembled “thriller films about the Cold War.” But how will the German government respond?

Why Southeast Asia’s ‘Stabilitocracies’ Endure
(August 11, 2017 – The Diplomat)
For many, the price of instability still appears to be too high to pay for democracy to take root.

Europe Could Offer These Novel Solutions To The North Korea Nuclear Crisis
(August 10, 2017 – Forbes)
European leaders still believe that China can solve North Korean conflict. But is this “lazy diplomacy,” and should Europe help to destabilize the Kim Jong-un regime from within?

Cambodia, a party with a country
(August 04, 2017 – New Mandala)
Cambodian officials in their own words on how the CPP and state power are one and the same.

Vietnam’s anti-graft drive more politics than reform
(August 03, 2017 – The Asia Times)
While Communist Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong has vowed to purge corrupt officials, his campaign more clearly aims to consolidate his own power

Kidnapping makes Vietnam persona non grata in Germany
(August 3, 2017 – Asia Times)
Vietnam’s abduction of one of its nationals in Berlin could upend a pending EU-Vietnam free trade pact and underlines pro-China versus pro-West factionalism in the ruling Communist Party

COLUMN: Cambodia’s Microfinance Industry: Why Bigger May Not Be Better
(August 3, 2017 – The Diplomat)
An issue has been swirling around Cambodia’s microfinance circles for some months. Put simply, will poor Cambodians be able to use “movable assets” – motorbikes, cars, livestock or agricultural machinery, for example – as collateral on loans?

Nowhere safe for Thailand’s anti-junta activists
(August 1, 2017 – Asia Times)
The abduction in Laos of Thai ‘Red Shirt’ dissident Wuthipong Kochathamakun points to a covert operation to silence one of the Thai military regime’s loudest critics


Timor Leste votes for more of the same
(July 24, 2017 – Asia Times)
The new nation’s fourth general election will return an incumbent ‘unity’ government to power, a vote for peace and stability after years of conflict

With TPP’s demise, Vietnam looks to Europe for free trade
(July 23, 2017 – Asia Times)
Hanoi hopes the early implementation of a European Union trade pact will accelerate growth, attract investment and hedge its economic reliance on China

Taxation desperation in Vietnam
(July 23, 2017 – Asia Times)
Will Hanoi’s drive to collect more taxes alienate foreign investors and squeeze the life out of its economy?

Insufficient funds in Vietnam
(July 21, 2017 – Asia Times)
It’s unclear where the communist nation will find the estimated US$480 billion in infrastructure it needs to sustain near-term fast growth

Trump puts pragmatism before ideology in Southeast Asia
(July 20, 2017 – Asia Times)
The US leader has engaged the region on new terms, a gambit that so far appears to mirror China’s ‘no strings’ approach to assistance and diplomacy

Are Chinese nationals being targeted in Laos?
(July 15, 2017 – Asia Times)
Beijing’s issuance of a security alert for its nationals residing or traveling in the Southeast Asian nation underlines a recent spate of attacks on its citizens

Laos is a key link for China’s Obor ambitions
(July 15, 2017 – Asia Times)
But is the land-locked, communist-run country getting cold feet about over-reliance on Beijing for its economic future?

How Much Longer Can Hun Sen Keep Cambodia’s Opposition Down? 
(July 4, 2017 – World Politics Review)

COLUMN: Why Cambodia’s Future Could Be Shaped By Its Senate
(June 30, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The role of the legislative body has been overlooked but could be potentially important in determining the country’s politics.

Remembering the Cambodian Coup
(June 28, 2017 – The Diplomat Magazine)
“Those old enough to remember it do… those too young have no idea how bad things got.”

Hun Sen through his own eyes
(June 28, 2017 – Asia Times)
Cambodia’s ruling party is pumping up its leader’s cult of personality to counter a slide in popularity in the run-up to general elections in 2018

COLUMN: What’s Behind Vietnam’s Rising Violence?
(June 22, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The rise of physical violence committed against activists is a troubling trend

COLUMN: Stop Hyping Up Sam Rainsy’s Return to Cambodia
(June 20, 2017 – The Diplomat)
It is not clear what good the opposition figure’s reentry would do for him, his party, or his country.

Beijing is Brunei’s new best friend
(June 11, 2017 – Asia Times)
The fuel-rich sultanate has looked to China for trade and investment at a time of economic need

COLUMN: How Nationalism Undermines ASEAN Integration
(June 07, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The problem continues to haunt the grouping fifty years on.

New age war on terror for Southeast Asia
(June 07, 2017 – Asia Times)
The ongoing siege of Marawi City in the Philippines marks the start of a volatile new phase in the region’s long battle with violent Islamic extremism

Hun Sen wins but opposition gains at pivotal poll
(June 05, 2017 – Asia Times)
The leader’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party swept national commune elections but the result shows the Cambodia National Rescue Party still has popular momentum

Cambodia: Watershed polls could tip stability
(June 03, 2017 – Asia Times)
Premier Hun Sen has threatened war if the rival Cambodia National Rescue Party outpaces his ruling party at bellwether commune elections on Sunday

Trump-Phuc rekindle US-Vietnam warming trend
(June 01, 2017 – Asia Times)
Vietnamese leader Nguyen Xuan Phuc appeared to win over his US counterpart with deals and offers to narrow the two sides’ yawning trade imbalance


Cloudy view for energy giant Petronas
(May 25, 2017 – Asia Times)
Malaysia’s state-run oil and gas firm has avoided a credit rating downgrade and financial losses through sharp cost cutting that has crimped its future plans and ambitions

National transformation or electoral ploy in Malaysia?
(May 25, 2017 – Asia Times)
Premier Najib Razak claims his “TN50” initiative will catapult the nation into the world’s top 20 by 2050, but critics see a thinly veiled scheme to win youth votes

Fifteen years of freedom for Timor-Leste
(May 24, 2017 – Asia Times)
A “unity” government has made notable gains after decades of foreign occupation and civil strife. But can the center hold with new polls on the horizon?

COLUMN: The Fall of Cambodia’s Patron-Client Politics?
(May 19, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Upcoming commune elections will be a key litmus test of whether patron-client bonds are weakening.

Cambodia looks to China for ‘governance’ guidance
(May 13, 2017 – Asia Times)
Prime Minister Hun Sen aims to emulate Xi Jinping’s strong state model – with an eye on aid and assistance to further consolidate his strongman rule

COLUMN: What We Don’t Know About the Cambodian Opposition’s Financial Plans
(May 12, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Several important questions remain unanswered.

Fake news, real danger in Southeast Asia
(May 9, 2017 – Asia Times)
Governments across the region are labeling critical reporting as false, opening the way for even more censorship and regulation of the news

Will Southeast Asia answer Trump’s call?
(May 06, 2017 – Asia Times)
As the US leader reaches out to erstwhile regional allies to contain North Korea, it’s not clear yet regional leaders will fully embrace the overture

Is Facebook putting profit before freedom in Southeast Asia?
(May 02, 2017 – Asia Times)
The social media giant grapples with how to handle rising state censorship pressure in its fastest growing business advertising market


COLUMN: Is Laos’ New Leader Really a Reformer?
(April 12, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The answer is much more complicated than a surface glance might suggest.

When the wells run dry in Brunei
(April 26, 2017 – Asia Times)
Low global fuel prices have eroded the sultanate’s standard of living and raised hard new questions about Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s absolutist rule

Laos tackles its drug problem
(April 18, 2017 – Asia Times)
Premier Thongloun Sisoulith’s anti-narcotics drive has netted several alleged ‘big fish’, but official complicity in the illicit trade will be harder to uproot

COLUMN: The Trouble With Cambodia’s Two-Party System
(April 12, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The lack of a formidable third party is hurting the country’s opposition.

Formosa factory restart favors foreign over local interests
(April 10, 2017 – Asia Times)
Vietnam is set to allow a Taiwan-owned steel plant to restart operations one year after a toxic spill that sparked nationwide environmental protests

Vietnam seeks preferential Trump treatment
(April 10, 2017 – Asia Times)
While the Southeast Asian nation seems a likely target for new US trade sanctions, recent revelations indicate a special deal could be on the cards

COLUMN: Why the US Approach to Singapore’s Amos Yee Matters
(April 06, 2017 – The Diplomat)
It reveals a lot about the Trump administration’s stance on rights issues, which has already been in doubt.


Cambodia, US duel over Vietnam War debt
(March 28, 2017 – Asia Times)
Washington’s demand that Phnom Penh repay a four-decade-old US$500 million loan will likely push the post-conflict country even closer to China

Guterres holds the key to energy riches
(March 24, 2017 – Asia Times)
Timor-Leste’s election of President Francisco Guterres signals a new stability and an anticipated resolution to an oil and gas dispute with Australia

Malaysia speaks softly in the South China Sea
(March 23, 2017 – Asia Times)
While the Philippines and Vietnam have been vocal in their maritime disputes with China, Malaysia has taken a more reticent tack to its claims

China’s influence pervades Malaysian politics
(March 23, 2017 – Asia Times)
Malaysian premier Najib Razak’s cozy ties to Beijing have been leveraged by his allies and politicized by the opposition ahead of general elections

China a friend in need to Malaysia
(March 23, 2017 – Asia Times)
Alibaba Group’s support for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s digital economy initiative is the latest indication of burgeoning bilateral ties

COLUMN: Will the Environment Be the Vietnam Government’s Downfall?
(March 22, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Environmental protests are proving a tough challenge for the communist regime.

Hun Sen loses his right-hand man
(March 16, 2017 – Asia Times)
The death of deputy premier Sok An leaves a substantial void in the Cambodian People’s Party-led government with crucial elections on the horizon

Malaysia’s Teflon Prime Minister
(March 15, 2017 – Asia Times)
Najib Razak has survived a massive embezzlement scandal, opposition protests and internal power struggles – all with an eye on re-election in 2018

COLUMN: Rising Intimidation in Cambodian Politics Calls for Urgent Solidarity
(March 11, 2017 – The Diplomat)
The worries continue to grow as elections approach.

Exit ban spikes Malaysia-North Korea tensions
(March 08, 2017 – Asia Times)
Malaysia’s spiraling spat with North Korea has pulled the Southeast Asian nation into a geo-strategic realm it is arguably ill-prepared to navigate

Hun Sen sings a different tune on China
(March 03, 2017 – Asia Times)
Beijing’s rising economic role in Cambodia has provided cover for an anti-democratic clampdown that Western governments have arguably been slow to condemn

Political risks threaten economic gains in Cambodia
(March 03, 2017 – Asia Times)
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s latest crackdown on the opposition threatens to undermine one of the region’s fastest- growing economies

COLUMN: The Cowardice of Aung San Suu Kyi
(March 01, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Is The Lady still a champion of rights and democracy?


COLUMN: The Trouble With Timor-Leste’s Consensus Politics
(February 24, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Stability could not come at the expense of democracy.

Legal demise of Cambodian democracy
(February 21, 2017 – Asia Times)
New legislation will empower Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government to dissolve the main opposition party for vague reasons ahead of pivotal polls

Little Laos tackles big corruption
(February 16, 2017 – Asia Times)
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith’s anti-graft drive aims to restore public confidence in communist rule amid reports of rampant misconduct

COLUMN: What’s Next for Cambodia’s Sam Rainsy?
(February 15, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A look at what may follow the opposition leader’s resignation.

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy steps aside
(February 12, 2017 – Asia Times)
Cambodia National Rescue Party President’s surprise resignation signals a shift in the country’s rough and tumble politics before crucial elections in June

COLUMN: Too Late for a Singapore Reading Culture?
(February 10, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A closer look at a hotly-contested issue.

In Duterte’s footsteps, Hun Sen launches a drug war
(February 09, 2017 – Asia Times)
Cambodia’s new war on drugs aims to blunt a spike in addiction and trafficking, but critics see a publicity stunt ahead of crucial provincial elections

An uncertain anniversary in Vietnam
(February 03, 2017 – Asia Times)
As Vietnam commemorates the 87th anniversary of its ruling Communist Party, factional infighting and economic pressures are testing its power monopoly

COLUMN: Duterte and LeniLeaks: Much Ado About Nothing?
(February 02, 2017 – The Diplomat)
Was the Philippines’ vice president really trying to overthrow Duterte?


Political Islam has populist appeal
(January 26, 2017 – Asia Times)
Politicians in Malaysia and Indonesia are taking increasingly hardline positions to win votes and stay ahead of shifting grass root sentiments

A rising tide of Islamic intolerance
(January 26, 2017 – Asia Times)
Radical notions of Islam are gaining mainstream resonance in Indonesia and Malaysia, a trend that is drowning out more moderate views and voices

COLUMN: Defending Free Speech in ASEAN
(January 23, 2017 – The Diplomat)
There have been some troubling regional developments on the issue of late.

Ahead of Trump, Cambodia edges further away from US
(January 23, 2017 – Asia Times)
Cambodia’s cancellation of joint US military exercises, known as Angkor Sentinel, underscores stronger ties to China and uncertain prospects under Trump

COLUMN: The Real Price of Cambodia’s Defamation Charges
(January 20, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A closer look at what is a costly affair in the country.

COLUMN: Is Cambodia’s Chhay Thy Really a Sellout?
(January 14, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A closer look at a development that is sparking controversy in Cambodia.

Catholic church withers under Duterte’s heavy hand
(January 13, 2017 – Asia Times)
Bishops are wary of criticizing Philippine president too much over his war on drugs fearing the strongman’s wrath

COLUMN: The Real Danger of Cambodia’s ‘Gay King’ Episode
(January 12, 2017 – The Diplomat)
A recent incident could have broader implications for democracy and human rights in the country.

Divide and rule: Cambodia’s opposition in pre-election test
(January 12, 2017 – Asia Times)
True to form, the ruling CPP has focused its efforts on splitting the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in order to contain it.

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