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Vietnam rejects social media posts which hurt relations with Cambodia

Vietnam rejects social media posts which hurt relations with Cambodia

Friday, May 24, 2024, 14:24 GMT+7
Vietnam rejects social media posts which hurt relations with Cambodia
Spokeswoman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vietnam does not agree with recent social media statements that criticize Cambodian leaders and undermine the good sentiments between the Vietnamese and Cambodian people, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang on Thursday addressed Cambodia’s request to join a probe into social media accounts allegedly run by Vietnamese citizens that have made inappropriate posts regarding Cambodian Senate President Hun Sen.

“We do not agree with provocative opinions and comments that undermine the good relations between the people of Vietnam and Cambodia. They also offend the two countries’ leaders,” Hang announced. 

Hang also stressed that such statements do not represent the stance of the Vietnamese government and people.

Based on their good neighborliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive and long-term cooperation, relevant agencies from both countries are applying practical and effective measures to help their people and future generations clearly and fully understand the bilateral relationship in order to continue strengthening their bond. 

“In that spirit, we believe that the two countries will continue sharing information in many fields, including the Funan Techo canal project, as well as studies on its transboundary impacts, thereby ensuring the harmonious interests of riverine countries and their people, and effectively and sustainably managing and using the Mekong River’s water resources,” stated Hang.

On May 20, Hun Sen said on his Facebook page that many comments, allegedly from Vietnamese citizens, had been posted on his TikTok account with insulting content related to the Funan Techo canal project.

Hun Sen then asked Cambodia authorities to coordinate with Vietnam to identify those who offended him.

“I request cooperation to enquire and prevent bad people from breaking the relationship between our two countries,” Khmer Times quoted Hun Sen as saying.

He added that he was not certain “whether the insulting comments came from Vietnamese citizens, or if they came from elsewhere.” 

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sok Chenda Sophea later met Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Nguyen Huy Tang the same day to suggest that the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments cooperate to uncover the identities of those who posted "the hostile content" so as to prevent any attempt to undermine the traditional friendship and good will between the leaders and peoples of both countries.

The response of the Vietnamese foreign ministry's spokesperson on Thursday marked the fourth time that Vietnam has spoken out regarding the Funan Techo canal project, which was recently announced by the Cambodian Ministry of Public Works and Transport. 

In all of these responses, Vietnam’s constant message has been that it treasures its relationship with Cambodia and supports the development achievements of its neighbor. 

Regarding the Funan Techo canal, Vietnam has expressed its respect for Cambodia’s legitimate interests, but requested that Cambodia continue to coordinate closely with Vietnam and other countries in the Mekong River Commission to share information about the project and to fully assess its impacts on water resources and the eco-environment of the Mekong sub-region. 

In recent times, the Cambodian mass media have continuously run news reports regarding the canal project, showing Cambodian leaders’ determination to implement the project that they said will benefit not only people in Cambodia but also those in other countries.      

According to the project, the canal is expected to be 180km long, connecting the Phnom Penh river port with the Gulf of Thailand, southwest of Cambodia. 

The canal will run through the Cambodian provinces of Kandal, Takeo, Kampot, and Kep.

As per its design, this canal will be 100 meters wide upstream, 80 meters wide downstream, and 5.4 meters deep upon completion.

The project will be implemented by Chinese contractors under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) method, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet said recently. 

Construction is expected to start in late 2024, carrying an estimated cost of about US$1.7 billion.

It is scheduled to open in 2028.

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Vinh Tho – Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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