Cambodian leader gets China's backing as West condemns crackdown

Cambodian leader gets China's backing as West condemns crackdownBy Prak Chan Thul PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen won words of support from China on Monday after the United States and European Union condemned the arrest of his main rival and a widening crackdown on his critics before next year’s election. A day after Kem Sokha was arrested in a midnight raid on his house, one of his deputies said donor countries should open their eyes to Cambodia’s “false democracy” and put more pressure on Hun Sen. When asked about Kem Sokha’s arrest at a press briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China “supports the Cambodian government’s efforts to protect national security and stability.” Opposition politicians, rights groups and independent media have come under growing pressure as next year’s election approaches.

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