Saga of Chinese base reaches new apex
July 23, 2019
Back in November 2018, I co-wrote a story with Shawn Crispin, the Southeast Asia editor of Asia Times, that correctly predicted US Vice-President Mike Pence would raise concerns about China trying building a naval base in Cambodia when he visited Southeast Asia the following weekend.

Does Cambodia’s Opposition Finally Have a Winning Comeback Plan?
July 03, 2019
The comeback strategy in the works amounts to a bold leap into the unknown, and it is unclear if it will pay off.

Hun Manet: The Next Prime Minister of Cambodia?
June 08, 2019
The issue of succession continues to loom large in Cambodia’s politics.

Why a New Trade Pact Could be the Carrot the EU Needs in Cambodia
May 29, 2019
The idea of such a pact is one such way for the EU to offer carrots, rather than just sticks, that can help it achieve its reform objectives in the country.

Cambodia’s Opposition Party Must End its Policy Silence Now
April 26, 2019
The CNRP’s weakened position makes the case for unveiling policy specifics stronger than ever.

The Mirage of a Cambodia Palace Coup
March 14, 2019
Suggestions by Sam Rainsy of a palace coup grossly overestimate factionalism in the CPP and underestimate Hun Sen’s power.

How Cambodia Could Win a War on Plastics
February 23, 2019
There are some basic steps that could go a long way in helping the country address a serious issue.

Will Sam Rainsy Make His Last Stand in Cambodia?
February 15, 2019
Sam Rainsy’s promise return to Cambodia is a gamble with Hun Sen and foreign governments.

Beware Cambodia’s Europe Sanctions Hype
January 30, 2019
Claims of threats to the country’s sovereignty are vastly exaggerated and miss the broader point about how foreign economic relations work.

The Trouble with Cambodia’s Affordable Housing Plan
November 14, 2018
The effort is neither affordable nor well-planned.

Why Cambodia’s Poverty Statistics Dispute Matters
October 24, 2018
A recent dispute has shed light on deeper issues in how poverty is assessed in the Southeast Asian state.

Cambodia’s Domestic Politics in the Spotlight at the United Nations
September 28, 2018
With protests planned in New York, the Southeast Asian state’s politics is set to be on display this weekend.

What’s Behind the Release of Cambodia’s Opposition Leader?
September 21, 2018
The freeing of Kem Sokha has raised bigger questions about power and the way it is exercised in Cambodia.

Cambodia’s Election: Mind the Numbers
August 05, 2018
A closer look at some of the early figures coming out of the poll results and their significance.

US sanctions loom over Hun Sen’s ‘illegitimate’ polls
(July 26, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Newly passed US House of Representatives Act names Cambodian PM, his family and ruling party stalwarts as sanctions targets for anti-democratic activities

Promises, promises: Can Hun Sen deliver on his vows?
(July 26, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Cambodian leader’s ruling CPP is blatantly campaigning on banned CNRP’s previous policies ahead of a virtually uncontested July 29 election

Cambodia’s small parties aim for an electoral surprise
(July 17, 2018 – The Asia Times)
The 19 parties contesting the ruling CPP are obscure, unproven and under fire as ‘puppet parties’ but are running largely on progressive platforms

Risks and returns in China’s digital designs for SE Asia
(July 16, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Beijing aims to build a ‘digital silk road’ to neighboring region but trade wars, censorship and cyber-espionage point to a perilous path

Clean fingers could stain Cambodia’s election
(July 11, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party has launched a ‘clean finger’ boycott campaign to undermine the credibility of this month’s polls

Could Cambodia’s Minor Parties Play a Major Role in its 2018 Election?
June 08, 2018
The potential importance of smaller parties in upcoming polls should not be overlooked.


Politicized protection for Cambodian royalty
(February 3, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Proposed lèse majesté law could shield from criticism a wide range of royally decorated political actors, including Prime Minister Hun Sen

Unchecked and unopposed, Hun Sen is all powerful
(January 24, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Long-serving Cambodian leader consolidates control ahead of polls and a possible leadership transition to one of his children

Will Cambodia’s repressed opposition rise up?
(January 21, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Leader Sam Rainsy drops the gauntlet with threats of ‘huge’ anti-government protests and calls on the military to mutiny for his movement

COLUMN: Does Cambodia’s New Opposition Movement Really Matter?
(January 17, 2018 – The Diplomat)
A closer look at the new Cambodia National Rescue Movement.


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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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?

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: 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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Sam Rainsy’s last stand?
(December 16, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
After losing four elections and with cracks in his party widening, the 2018 general election could be Sam Rainsy’s last as the leader of the Cambodian opposition

How Cambodia’s garment industry can survive automation
(December 7, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Experts predict that automation will be the future of manufacturing, which could have profound implications for Cambodia’s 600,000 garment workers

Shifting Idylls: Urban-Rural Dynamics in Cambodia
(December 6, 2016, The Diplomat)
A closer look at how the city and the countryside – and perceptions of them – are evolving.

The Trouble With Cambodia’s Largest Opposition Party
(November 26, 2016, The Diplomat)
Internal criticism needs to become the norm if it is to become a truly democratic alternative.

Is Cambodia’s Expanded Minimum Wage Really a Good Idea?
(November 04, 2016, The Diplomat)
A closer look at a proposal.

COLUMN: Does Cambodia Really Care About Its Disabled?
(November 03, 2016, The Diplomat)
The evidence suggests that more attention needs to be given to the problem

COLUMN: The Truth About Anti-Vietnam Sentiment in Cambodia
(October 20, 2016, The Diplomat)
A closer look at a subject that often does not get enough sustained attention.

Cambodia’s ‘Party for Moderate Progress Within the Boundaries of Law’
(September 21, 2016, The Diplomat)
Why has Cambodia proven unable to conduct serious reforms?

How China Came to Dominate Cambodia
(September 1, 2016 – The Diplomat)
How Cambodia went from denouncing China to being Beijing’s most faithful client state.

Cambodia’s Facebooker-in-Chief 
(August 3, 2016 – The Diplomat)
How Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party came to adopt social media.

Good riddance to the culture of dialogue
(June 30, 2016, New Mandala)
Instead of a dialogue with the government, Cambodia’s embattled opposition party must focus on a dialogue with the people.

Sam Rainsy: The Coward?
(June 23, 2016, The Diplomat; republished by Courrier International)
A closer look at Cambodia’s opposition leader in exile.

The Triangulation of Cambodian Politics
(June 16, 2016, The Diplomat)
The CNRP may well have more to fear from the CPP’s triangulation than its intimidation.

Is Cambodia’s skyscraper dream a nightmare?
(May 6, 2016, New Internationalist)
The monumental building work that is currently going on in Cambodian capital city Phnom Penh may also reveal the inadequacies of the country’s ‘progress’

Failure to enforce jobs quota law shortchanges Cambodia’s disabled
(April 26, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
For almost six years, no government agency or private business has been fined for missing their quota for disabled workers

Revealing Cambodia’s secret Khmer Rouge resistance
(March 17, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
The prevailing image of Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge is one of dignified suffering and passivity. But many resisted the regime in ways often overlooked by historians

Could improved tax collection strengthen democracy in Cambodia?
(February 9, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
With Cambodia starting to collect more tax, some argue it could increase political accountability in the Kingdom

Holy sin: child abuse in Cambodia’s Buddhist pagodas
(February 5, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Recent cases of monks committing child abuse have focused attention on the response from authorities and the Buddhist hierarchy

Divided they fall: Cambodia’s unions
(October 21, 2015 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Last year, trade unionism in Cambodia appeared to have reached its high-water mark. But with minimum wage negotiations taking place this month, there are already concerns it has become a divided and weakened movement

Gang of four: Cambodia’s new political parties
(October 1, 2015 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Four new political parties have entered the fray in Cambodia since the start of the year. And it’s not just the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party in their sights, but the opposition too

Mu Sochua: Woman of the people
(July 10, 2015 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Mu Sochua has spent the best part of two decades on the frontlines of Cambodian politics campaigning for women’s rights and justice for ordinary people. Southeast Asia Globe spent three days with the MP as she toured her constituency

Power to the people?
(April 20, 2015 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Much attention has been paid to Cambodia’s burgeoning middle class, but the emergence of a working class to complement it has rarely been discussed. Many experts agree that it is here and it is vitally important to the country’s economic and political prospects

Losing a legacy
(17 February, 2015 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Vann Molyvann’s name is synonymous with the golden era of modern Cambodian architecture. Filmmakers Christopher Rompré and Haig Balian discuss their upcoming documentary that chronicles his life and explores the Kingdom’s contemporary skyline



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