World

Hun Sen dares US to cut aid to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen challenged the United States yesterday to cut all aid after it announced it was ending funding for a general election next year in response to the dissolution of the main opposition party, media reported.

Mr Hun Sen has taken a strident anti-American line in an increasingly tense run-up to an election next year that has included a crackdown on rights groups and independent media.

The US announced on Friday it was ending funding for the election after the Supreme Court dissolved the Cambodia National Rescue Party at the request of the government, on the grounds it was plotting to seize power.

The pro-government Fresh News website reported that Mr Hun Sen said in a speech to garment workers that he welcomed the US aid cut and urged it to cut it all.

The US State Department said US assistance to Cambodia was worth more than US$77.6 million (S$105 million) in 2014.

Chinese support for big ticket projects and with no demands for political reform has allowed Mr Hun Sen to brush off Western criticism of his crackdown on dissent.

- REUTERS

WORLD