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The Future of Asia 2021

Cambodia's Hun Sen: 'If I don't rely on China, who will I rely on?'

PM calls criticism of close Beijing ties 'unjust' at Nikkei forum

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks during the 26th International Conference on The Future of Asia on May 20. (Photo by Kai Fujii) 

TOKYO -- Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has defended his close relationship with China, pointing to Beijing's large injections of financial support to his small nation.

China is Cambodia's key political patron and largest source of development assistance, having helped funnel billions of dollars for infrastructure projects. This has fueled criticism that Phnom Penh has become over-reliant on, and a proxy for, Beijing. But Hun Sen, speaking remotely to Nikkei's Future of Asia conference on Thursday, called that criticism "unjust."

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