Archive

China-Cambodia Ties Under Scrutiny in Arrest of French Citizen

A general view of the home of French architect Patrick Henri Devillers is pictured in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 21, 2012.
A general view of the home of French architect Patrick Henri Devillers is pictured in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 21, 2012.
Irwin LoyVOA

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Cambodian authorities are saying little about the case of a French national believed to be connected to disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai.  Patrick Devillers was arrested June 13 in Phnom Penh at China's request.

Since confirming the arrest of Patrick Devillers this week, Cambodia has offered few details about why the French national was arrested, and on what grounds he continues to be detained.

Authorities say his arrest was spurred by a request from China. It's believed China wants to question Devillers about his relationship with Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai. Gu Kailai is under investigation for the murder in China last year of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Yet foreign ministry officials told reporters Devillers would not be sent to either China or France without some evidence he had committed a crime.

On Friday, government spokesman Phay Siphan declined to discuss the issue, except to say that Cambodia is being careful to follow procedure in what is a sensitive case.

"It's an issue of procedure,"he said. That's why Cambodia needs more time to find out what's going on. And for the time being, he's still in Cambodia."

Cambodia now finds itself entangled in one of China's biggest political scandals. Heywood had close ties to Bo Xilai, who was ousted as Communist Party chief of the city of Chongqing. But those ties had soured and Heywood's death led to the end of Bo's career.

China has considerable influence in Cambodia, having provided hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and loans with easy terms.

Cambodia still relies on foreign aid to supplement its national budget, and in recent years, the government has increasingly turned to China to offset its dependence on Western nations.

"It's saying a lot. It's saying that the no-strings-attached aid to Cambodia from China, after all, does have strings," said Ou Virak, the head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights. "There are strings after all. The Chinese government does want favors and does ask Cambodia [to meet] certain conditions as well, and Cambodia tends to comply with what is asked of them by China."

In 2009, Cambodia was widely criticized after authorities deported 20 Uighur asylum-seekers to China. Their fates remain a mystery.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Cambodia, 'hairy-nosed otter' Worth Conservingi
X
28 July 2014
Conservation International works in more than 30 countries around the world to help protect and preserve our planet. In Cambodia, the group is working with local communities to protect several endangered species, including something called a "hairy-nosed otter." The otter was once thought to be extinct, but it was discovered recently in Cambodia. VOA Khmer's Poch Reasey recently interviewed two officials from the agency, Peter Stonier and John Martin, to discuss conservation in Cambodia.

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Same Old, Same Old (Movie: Lord of War)i
X
28 July 2014
You can say, "My life is so boring - it's the 'same old, same old'. I wish it was more exciting." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.khmer.voanews.com/maniandmori or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Same Old, Same Old (Movie: Lord of War)

You can say, "My life is so boring - it's the 'same old, same old'. I wish it was more exciting." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Labor of Love (Movie: That's What I Am)

You can say, "Every weekend he volunteers at the hospital working with the sick and the dying. It brings him great joy to care for others. It's his 'labor of love' to humanity." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video Put Stock In (Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)

AT THE MOVIES WITH MANI & MORI - English Learning / American Idioms You can say, "Her history and her patterns have shown that she is not very responsible with money, so I am not going to 'put too much stock in' believing she has changed." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Thick Skinned [Movie: The Lion King]

You can say, "I find that it's necessary sometimes to be 'thick skinned' to public opinions, some people will like you and some will not … it's just how it is." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video Knock Your Socks Off [Movie: Meet The Robinsons]

You can say, "You have to try this new Cambodian restaurant in DC, it's super delicious, it's amazing - one bite of it and it will 'knock your socks off'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
See more >>>