Jane Bocklage, chargé d'affaires of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, spoke to VOA Khmer reporters Aun Chhengpor and Sun Narin during a recent visit to Cambodia to preside over the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative’s STEM Education Workshop.
Cambodia and China increased military cooperation after Phnom Penh canceled its joint military exercises with the United States in the aftermath of a diplomatic fallout over the dissolution of Cambodia’s main opposition party.
The visit was Smith’s fifth in the role and comes as the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen has led a months-long crackdown on political opposition and civil society. Kem Sokha, the CNRP president, was jailed in September, accused of leading a foreign-backed plot to overthrow Hun Sen.
"Despite efforts from the government agencies and relevant NGOs, we still cannot ensure a safe space for women, making them vulnerable to sexual harassment and assaults. On a positive note, we have also noticed that more and more women are engaged in leadership roles in the private sector or are running their own business."
Kem Sokha was jailed in September on treason charges. More than two months later his party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, was dissolved by the Supreme Court and more than 100 of its members were banned from politics for five years.