Cambodia rejects paying ‘dirty debt’ to the US

Al Jareeza March 21, 2017

Cambodia-US relations will further deteriorate if Trump insists on collecting debt incurred by an illegitimate regime.

General Lon Nol, former prime minister of Cambodia, who incurred the principal debt of $276m, attends a national solidarity rally in Cambodia on April 16, 1970 [Ian Brodie/Getty Images]
General Lon Nol, former prime minister of Cambodia, who incurred the principal debt of $276m, attends a national solidarity rally in Cambodia on April 16, 1970 [Ian Brodie/Getty Images]

By

@chheangcam

Vannarith Chheang is a Consultant at the Nippon Foundation in Japan.

The United States has renewed its demand for Cambodia to repay a war debt of $500m amid President Donald Trump’s push to improve the state budget. Such a demand has met with an outcry from Cambodian political leaders and their people, who have consistently called the debt “dirty” and “blood-stained”.

Clearly, the memory of the United States’ war in Indochina continues to shape Cambodian perceptions of and foreign policy towards the US. Cambodia is reluctant to pay the debt. However, should the US keep forcing Cambodia to service the debt, its moral high ground may be adversely affected. Tiếp tục đọc “Cambodia rejects paying ‘dirty debt’ to the US”