Early this month, George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, returned to Cambodia after his last visit to the country in 1999. His visit was notable for his well-received public lectures at both the National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, and the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
Subsequently, on December 8, 2023, the Khmer Times published an op-ed by Mr Yeo titled “Why the West Should Not Give Up on Cambodia.” In this piece, Mr Yeo provides a balanced analysis of Cambodia’s remarkable transformation. He underscores the country’s journey from being ravaged by conflict to achieving a state of peace and developing a vibrant economy.
The article also addresses Cambodia’s foreign policy. Although I noticed its overall objectivity, there is one critical issue that I would like to draw readers’ attention which is the South China Sea dispute. The issue is one of the most intricate and hotly contested geopolitical issues in the Asia Pacific region, involving regional and global powers. Cambodia is not immune to this complex dispute.